Journal Article

The relation between stellar mass and weak lensing signal around galaxies: implications for modified Newtonian dynamics

Lanlan Tian, Henk Hoekstra and Hongsheng Zhao

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 393, issue 3, pages 885-893
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14094.x
The relation between stellar mass and weak lensing signal around galaxies: implications for modified Newtonian dynamics

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We study the amplitude of the weak gravitational lensing signal as a function of stellar mass around a sample of relatively isolated galaxies. This selection of lenses simplifies the interpretation of the observations, which consist of data from the Red-Sequence Cluster Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We find that the amplitude of the lensing signal as a function of stellar mass is well described by a power law with a best-fitting slope α= 0.74 ± 0.08. This result is inconsistent with modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), which predicts α= 0.5 (we find α > 0.5 with 99.7 per cent confidence). As a related test, we determine the MOND mass-to-light ratio as a function of luminosity. Our results require dark matter for the most luminous galaxies (L≳ 1011 L). We rule out an extended halo of gas or active neutrinos as a way of reconciling our findings with MOND. Although we focus on a single alternative gravity model, we note that our results provide an important test for any alternative theory of gravity.

Keywords: gravitation; gravitational lensing; galaxies: halos; dark matter

Journal Article.  6228 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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