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Physics  1999 

Breaking the Disk/Halo Degeneracy with Gravitational Lensing

DOI: 10.1086/308641

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The degeneracy between the disk and the dark matter contribution to galaxy rotation curves remains an important uncertainty in our understanding of disk galaxies. Here we discuss a new method for breaking this degeneracy using gravitational lensing by spiral galaxies, and apply this method to the spiral lens B1600+434 as an example. The combined image and lens photometry constraints allow models for B1600+434 with either a nearly singular dark matter halo, or a halo with a sizable core. A maximum disk model is ruled out with high confidence. Further information, such as the circular velocity of this galaxy, will help break the degeneracies. Future studies of spiral galaxy lenses will be able to determine the relative contribution of disk, bulge, and halo to the mass in the inner parts of galaxies.


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