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      Cosmology with cosmic shear observations: a review

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          Abstract

          Cosmic shear is the distortion of images of distant galaxies due to weak gravitational lensing by the large-scale structure in the Universe. Such images are coherently deformed by the tidal field of matter inhomogeneities along the line of sight. By measuring galaxy shape correlations, we can study the properties and evolution of structure on large scales as well as the geometry of the Universe. Thus, cosmic shear has become a powerful probe into the nature of dark matter and the origin of the current accelerated expansion of the Universe. Over the last years, cosmic shear has evolved into a reliable and robust cosmological probe, providing measurements of the expansion history of the Universe and the growth of its structure. We review here the principles of weak gravitational lensing and show how cosmic shear is interpreted in a cosmological context. Then we give an overview of weak-lensing measurements, and present the main observational cosmic-shear results since it was discovered 15 years ago, as well as the implications for cosmology. We then conclude with an outlook on the various future surveys and missions, for which cosmic shear is one of the main science drivers, and discuss promising new weak cosmological lensing techniques for future observations.

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          Planck 2013 results. XVI. Cosmological parameters

          We present the first results based on Planck measurements of the CMB temperature and lensing-potential power spectra. The Planck spectra at high multipoles are extremely well described by the standard spatially-flat six-parameter LCDM cosmology. In this model Planck data determine the cosmological parameters to high precision. We find a low value of the Hubble constant, H0=67.3+/-1.2 km/s/Mpc and a high value of the matter density parameter, Omega_m=0.315+/-0.017 (+/-1 sigma errors) in excellent agreement with constraints from baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) surveys. Including curvature, we find that the Universe is consistent with spatial flatness to percent-level precision using Planck CMB data alone. We present results from an analysis of extensions to the standard cosmology, using astrophysical data sets in addition to Planck and high-resolution CMB data. None of these models are favoured significantly over standard LCDM. The deviation of the scalar spectral index from unity is insensitive to the addition of tensor modes and to changes in the matter content of the Universe. We find a 95% upper limit of r<0.11 on the tensor-to-scalar ratio. There is no evidence for additional neutrino-like relativistic particles. Using BAO and CMB data, we find N_eff=3.30+/-0.27 for the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom, and an upper limit of 0.23 eV for the summed neutrino mass. Our results are in excellent agreement with big bang nucleosynthesis and the standard value of N_eff=3.046. We find no evidence for dynamical dark energy. Despite the success of the standard LCDM model, this cosmology does not provide a good fit to the CMB power spectrum at low multipoles, as noted previously by the WMAP team. While not of decisive significance, this is an anomaly in an otherwise self-consistent analysis of the Planck temperature data.
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            Cosmological parameters from CMB and other data: a Monte-Carlo approach

            We present a fast Markov Chain Monte-Carlo exploration of cosmological parameter space. We perform a joint analysis of results from recent CMB experiments and provide parameter constraints, including sigma_8, from the CMB independent of other data. We next combine data from the CMB, HST Key Project, 2dF galaxy redshift survey, supernovae Ia and big-bang nucleosynthesis. The Monte Carlo method allows the rapid investigation of a large number of parameters, and we present results from 6 and 9 parameter analyses of flat models, and an 11 parameter analysis of non-flat models. Our results include constraints on the neutrino mass (m_nu < 0.3eV), equation of state of the dark energy, and the tensor amplitude, as well as demonstrating the effect of additional parameters on the base parameter constraints. In a series of appendices we describe the many uses of importance sampling, including computing results from new data and accuracy correction of results generated from an approximate method. We also discuss the different ways of converting parameter samples to parameter constraints, the effect of the prior, assess the goodness of fit and consistency, and describe the use of analytic marginalization over normalization parameters.
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              Weak gravitational lensing of distant galaxies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2014-11-01
                2015-07-21
                Article
                10.1088/0034-4885/78/8/086901
                1411.0115
                0308a137-534a-4da8-bfbc-0c0b600f703d

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                Rep. Prog. Phys. 78 (2015) 086901
                65 pages (single column format), 12 figures, 1 table. Corresponds to published version by RoPP (in double column format; 39 pages). For a video abstract see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-ECFixOca0
                astro-ph.CO

                Cosmology & Extragalactic astrophysics
                Cosmology & Extragalactic astrophysics

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