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Intrinsic alignment-lensing interference as a contaminant of cosmic shear

Hirata, Christopher M. and Seljak, Uroš (2004) Intrinsic alignment-lensing interference as a contaminant of cosmic shear. Physical Review D, 70 (6). Art. No. 063526. ISSN 1550-7998.

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Cosmic shear surveys have great promise as tools for precision cosmology, but can be subject to systematic errors including intrinsic ellipticity correlations of the source galaxies. The intrinsic alignments are believed to be small for deep surveys, but this is based on intrinsic and lensing distortions being uncorrelated. Here we show that the gravitational lensing shear and intrinsic shear need not be independent: correlations between the tidal field and the intrinsic shear cause the intrinsic shear of nearby galaxies to be correlated with the gravitational shear acting on more distant galaxies. We estimate the magnitude of this effect for two simple intrinsic-alignment models: one in which the galaxy ellipticity is linearly related to the tidal field, and one in which it is quadratic in the tidal field as suggested by tidal torque theory. The first model predicts a gravitational-intrinsic (GI) correlation that can be much greater than the intrinsic-intrinsic (II) correlation for broad redshift distributions, and that remains when galaxies pairs at similar redshifts are rejected. The second model, in its simplest form, predicts no gravitational-intrinsic correlation. In the first model, and assuming a normalization consistent with recently claimed detections of intrinsic correlations, we find that the GI correlation term can exceed the usual II term by >1 order of magnitude and the intrinsic correlation induced B-mode by 2 orders of magnitude. These interference effects can suppress the lensing power spectrum for a single broad redshift bin by of order ∼10% at zs=1 and ∼30% at zs=0.5. We conclude that, depending on the intrinsic-alignment model, the GI correlation may be the dominant contaminant of the lensing signal and can even affect cross spectra between widely separated bins. We describe two ways to constrain this effect, one based on density-shear correlations and one based on scaling of the cross correlation tomography signal with redshift.

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Hirata, Christopher M.0000-0002-2951-4932
Additional Information:© 2004 The American Physical Society. Received 15 June 2004; published 21 September 2004. C.H. acknowledges the support of the NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP). U.S. is supported by Packard Foundation, NASA NAG5-11489 and NSF CAREER-0132953.
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NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucille Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HIRprd04a
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11105
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:15 Jul 2008 04:05
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:16

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