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Title: New approaches to weak gravitational lensing
Author: Whittaker, Lee Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 2889
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is concerned with developing new methods for performing weak gravitational lensing with the aim of addressing specific systematic effects in weak lensing surveys. The first of these effects is the multiplicative biases which arise as a result of isotropic smearing. This smearing may be due to atmospheric seeing or an instrumental PSF. Isotropic smearing circularizes a galaxy image and leads to a systematic under-estimate of the modulus of the observed ellipticity. The orientation of the observed galaxy is, however, unaffected. We exploit this property by formulating a weak lensing shear estimator that requires measurements of galaxy position angles only, thereby avoiding the contribution from this systematic. We demonstrate the method on simulations and the CFHTLenS data by reconstructing convergence maps and comparing the results with the standard full ellipticity based approach. We show that the difference between the reconstructed maps for the two approaches is consistent with noise in all of the tests performed. We then apply the technique to the GREAT3 challenge data using three distinct methods to measure the position angles of the galaxies. For all three methods, we find that the position angle-only approach yields shear estimates with a performance comparable with current well established shape based techniques. The second effect addressed arises from the intrinsic alignment of the source galaxies. This alignment mimics a shear signal, and hence biases estimates of the shear. To mitigate this effect, we develop three shear estimators that include polarization information from radio observations as a tracer of a galaxy’s intrinsic orientation. In addition to the shear estimator, we also develop estimators for the intrinsic alignment signal. We test these estimators by successfully reconstructing the shear and intrinsic alignment auto and cross-power spectra across three overlapping redshift bins.
Supervisor: Battye, Richard ; Brown, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cosmology ; Weak gravitational lensing