Journal Article

The darkness that shaped the void: dark energy and cosmic voids

E. G. Patrick Bos, Rien van de Weygaert, Klaus Dolag and Valeria Pettorino

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 426, issue 1, pages 440-461
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The darkness that shaped the void: dark energy and cosmic voids

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We assess the sensitivity of void shapes to the nature of dark energy that was pointed out in recent studies and also investigate whether or not void shapes are useable as an observational probe in galaxy redshift surveys. Our focus is on the evolution of the mean void ellipticity and its underlying physical cause.

To this end, we analyse the morphological properties of voids in five sets of cosmological N-body simulations, each with a different nature of dark energy. To address the question of whether galaxy redshift surveys yield sufficiently accurate void morphologies, voids in the dark matter distribution are compared to those in the halo population. Voids are identified using the parameter-free Watershed Void Finder. The effect of redshift distortions is investigated as well.

The main conclusions of this study are as follows: (i) the statistically significant sensitivity of voids in the dark matter distribution is confirmed; (ii) the level of clustering as measured by σ8(z) is identified as the main cause of differences in the mean void shape 〈ε〉; and (iii) in the halo and/or galaxy distribution, it is practically unfeasible to distinguish at a statistically significant level between the various cosmologies due to the sparsity and spatial bias of the sample.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; methods: numerical; cosmology: theory; dark energy; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  15500 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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