Self-similarity and universality of void density profiles in simulation and SDSS data

Nadathur, S, Hotchkiss, S, Diego, J M, Iliev, I T, Gottlöber, S, Watson, W A and Yepes, G (2015) Self-similarity and universality of void density profiles in simulation and SDSS data. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 449 (4). pp. 3997-4009. ISSN 0035-8711

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The stacked density profile of cosmic voids in the galaxy distribution provides an important tool for the use of voids for precision cosmology. We study the density profiles of voids identified using the ZOBOV watershed transform algorithm in realistic mock luminous red galaxy (LRG) catalogues from the Jubilee simulation, as well as in void catalogues constructed from the SDSS LRG and Main Galaxy samples. We compare different methods for reconstructing density profiles scaled by the void radius and show that the most commonly used method based on counts in shells and simple averaging is statistically flawed as it underestimates the density in void interiors. We provide two alternative methods that do not suffer from this effect; one based on Voronoi tessellations is also easily able to account from artefacts due to finite survey boundaries and so is more suitable when comparing simulation data to observation. Using this method, we show that the most robust voids in simulation are exactly self-similar, meaning that their average rescaled profile does not depend on the void size. Within the range of our simulation, we also find no redshift dependence of the mean profile. Comparison of the profiles obtained from simulated and real voids shows an excellent match. The mean profiles of real voids also show a universal behaviour over a wide range of galaxy luminosities, number densities and redshifts. This points to a fundamental property of the voids found by the watershed algorithm, which can be exploited in future studies of voids.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Research Centres and Groups: Astronomy Centre
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Depositing User: Billy Wichaidit
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 11:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 19:16

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Astrophysics and Cosmology - Sussex Consolidated GrantG1291STFC-SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCILST/L000652/1