The Structure of Halos: Implications for Group and Cluster Cosmology

Lukić, Zarija
Reed, Darren
Habib, Salman
Heitmann, Katrin
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The dark matter halo mass function is a key repository of cosmological information over a wide range of mass scales, from individual galaxies to galaxy clusters. N-body simulations have established that the friends-of-friends (FOF) mass function has a universal form to a surprising level of accuracy (< 10%). The high-mass tail of the mass function is exponentially sensitive to the amplitude of the initial density perturbations, the mean matter density parameter, Omega_m, and to the dark energy controlled late-time evolution of the density field. Observed group and cluster masses, however, are usually stated in terms of a spherical overdensity (SO) mass which does not map simply to the FOF mass. Additionally, the widely used halo models of structure formation -- and halo occupancy distribution descriptions of galaxies within halos -- are often constructed exploiting the universal form of the FOF mass function. This again raises the question of whether FOF halos can be simply related to the notion of a spherical overdensity mass. By employing results from Monte Carlo realizations of ideal Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) halos and N-body simulations, we study the relationship between the two definitions of halo mass. We find that the vast majority of halos (80-85%) in the mass-range 10^{12.5}-10^{15.5} M_sun/h indeed allow for an accurate mapping between the two definitions (~ 5%), but only if the halo concentrations are known. Nonisolated halos fall into two broad classes: those with complex substructure that are poor fits to NFW profiles and those ``bridged'' by the (isodensity-based)FOF algorithm. A closer investigation of the bridged halos reveals that the fraction of these halos and their satellite mass distribution is cosmology dependent. (abridged)
Comment: Submitted to ApJ