Abstract:
As pointed out in previous studies, the measurement of the skewness of the convergence field $\kappa$ will be useful in breaking the degeneracy among the cosmological parameters constrained from weak lensing observations. The combination of shot noise and finite survey volume implies that such a measurement is likely to be done in a range of intermediate scales ($0.5'$ to 20') where neither perturbation theory nor the hierarchical ansatz apply. Here we explore the behavior of the skewness of $\kappa$ at these intermediate scales, based on results for the non-linear evolution of the mass bispectrum. We combined different ray-tracing simulations to test our predictions, and we find that our calculations describe accurately the transition from the weakly non-linear to the strongly non-linear regime. We show that the single lens-plane approximation remains accurate even in the non-linear regime, and we explicitly calculate the corrections to this approximation. We also discuss the prospects of measuring the skewness in upcoming weak lensing surveys.

Abstract:
Weak lensing convergence can be used directly to map and probe the dark mass distribution in the universe. Building on earlier studies, we recall how the statistics of the convergence field are related to the statistics of the underlying mass distribution, in particular to the many-body density correlations. We describe two model-independent approximations which provide two simple methods to compute the probability distribution function, pdf, of the convergence. We apply one of these to the case where the density field can be described by a log-normal pdf. Next, we discuss two hierarchical models for the high-order correlations which allow one to perform exact calculations and evaluate the previous approximations in such specific cases. Finally, we apply these methods to a very simple model for the evolution of the density field from linear to highly non-linear scales. Comparisons with the results obtained from numerical simulations, obtained from a number of different realizations, show excellent agreement with our theoretical predictions. We have probed various angular scales in the numerical work and considered sources at 14 different redshifts in each of two different cosmological scenarios, an open cosmology and a flat cosmology with non-zero cosmological constant. Our simulation technique employs computations of the full 3-d shear matrices along the line of sight from the source redshift to the observer and is complementary to more popular ray-tracing algorithms. Our results therefore provide a valuable cross-check for such complementary simulation techniques, as well as for our simple analytical model, from the linear to the highly non-linear regime.

Abstract:
Weak lensing surveys are expected to provide direct measurements of the statistics of the projected dark matter distribution. Most analytical studies of weak lensing statistics have been limited to quasilinear scales as they relied on perturbative calculations. On the other hand, observational surveys are likely to probe angular scales less than 10 arcminutes, for which the relevant physical length scales are in the nonlinear regime of gravitational clustering. We use the hierarchical ansatz to compute the multi-point statistics of the weak lensing convergence for these small smoothing angles. We predict the multi-point cumulants and cumulant correlators up to fourth order and compare our results with high resolution ray tracing simulations. Averaging over a large number of simulation realizations for four different cosmological models, we find close agreement with the analytical calculations. In combination with our work on the probability distribution function, these results provide accurate analytical models for the full range of weak lensing statistics. The models allow for a detailed exploration of cosmological parameter space and of the dependence on angular scale and the redshift distribution of source galaxies. We compute the dependence of the higher moments of the convergence on the parameters Omega and Lambda and on the nature of gravitational clustering.

Abstract:
We present non-linear weak lensing predictions for coupled dark energy models using the CoDECS simulations. We calculate the shear correlation function and error covariance expected for these models, for forthcoming ground-based (such as DES) and space-based (Euclid) weak lensing surveys. We obtain predictions for the discriminatory power of a ground-based survey similar to DES and a space-based survey such as Euclid in distinguishing between $\Lambda$CDM and coupled dark energy models; we show that using the non-linear lensing signal we could discriminate between $\Lambda$CDM and exponential constant coupling models with $\beta_0\geq0.1$ at $4\sigma$ confidence level with a DES-like survey, and $\beta_0\geq0.05$ at $5\sigma$ confidence level with Euclid. We also demonstrate that estimating the coupled dark energy models' non-linear power spectrum, using the $\Lambda$CDM Halofit fitting formula, results in biases in the shear correlation function that exceed the survey errors.

Abstract:
Although general relativity underlies modern cosmology, its applicability on cosmological length scales has yet to be stringently tested. Such a test has recently been proposed, using a quantity, EG, that combines measures of large-scale gravitational lensing, galaxy clustering and structure growth rate. The combination is insensitive to 'galaxy bias' (the difference between the clustering of visible galaxies and invisible dark matter) and is thus robust to the uncertainty in this parameter. Modified theories of gravity generally predict values of EG different from the general relativistic prediction because, in these theories, the 'gravitational slip' (the difference between the two potentials that describe perturbations in the gravitational metric) is non-zero, which leads to changes in the growth of structure and the strength of the gravitational lensing effect3. Here we report that EG = 0.39 +/- 0.06 on length scales of tens of megaparsecs, in agreement with the general relativistic prediction of EG $\approx$ 0.4. The measured value excludes a model within the tensor-vector-scalar gravity theory, which modifies both Newtonian and Einstein gravity. However, the relatively large uncertainty still permits models within f(R) theory, which is an extension of general relativity. A fivefold decrease in uncertainty is needed to rule out these models.

Abstract:
We study the effect of modifications to General Relativity on large scale weak lensing observables. In particular, we consider three modified gravity scenarios: f(R) gravity, the DGP model, and TeVeS theory. Weak lensing is sensitive to the growth of structure and the relation between matter and gravitational potentials, both of which will in general be affected by modified gravity. Restricting ourselves to linear scales, we compare the predictions for galaxy-shear and shear-shear correlations of each modified gravity cosmology to those of an effective Dark Energy cosmology with the same expansion history. In this way, the effects of modified gravity on the growth of perturbations are separated from the expansion history. We also propose a test which isolates the matter-potential relation from the growth factor and matter power spectrum. For all three modified gravity models, the predictions for galaxy and shear correlations will be discernible from those of Dark Energy with very high significance in future weak lensing surveys. Furthermore, each model predicts a measurably distinct scale dependence and redshift evolution of galaxy and shear correlations, which can be traced back to the physical foundations of each model. We show that the signal-to-noise for detecting signatures of modified gravity is much higher for weak lensing observables as compared to the ISW effect, measured via the galaxy-CMB cross-correlation.

Abstract:
We use the halo model of clustering to compute two- and three-point correlation functions for weak lensing, and apply them in a new statistical technique to measure properties of massive halos. We present analytical results on the eight shear three-point correlation functions constructed using combination of the two shear components at each vertex of a triangle. We compare the amplitude and configuration dependence of the functions with ray-tracing simulations and find excellent agreement for different scales and models. These results are promising, since shear statistics are easier to measure than the convergence. In addition, the symmetry properties of the shear three-point functions provide a new and precise way of disentangling the lensing E-mode from the B-mode due to possible systematic errors. We develop an approach based on correlation functions to measure the properties of galaxy-group and cluster halos from lensing surveys. Shear correlations on small scales arise from the lensing matter within halos of mass M > 10^13 solar masses. Thus the measurement of two- and three-point correlations can be used to extract information on halo density profiles, primarily the inner slope and halo concentration. We demonstrate the feasibility of such an analysis for forthcoming surveys. We include covariances in the correlation functions due to sample variance and intrinsic ellipticity noise to show that 10% accuracy on profile parameters is achievable with surveys like the CFHT Legacy survey, and significantly better with future surveys. Our statistical approach is complementary to the standard approach of identifying individual objects in survey data and measuring their properties.

Abstract:
Forthcoming projects such as DES, LSST, WFIRST, and Euclid aim to measure weak lensing shear correlations with unprecedented precision, constraining the dark energy equation of state at the percent level. Reliance on photometrically-determined redshifts constitutes a major source of uncertainty for these surveys. Additionally, interpreting the weak lensing signal requires a detailed understanding of the nonlinear physics of gravitational collapse. We present a new analysis of the stringent calibration requirements for weak lensing analyses of future imaging surveys that addresses both photo-z uncertainty and errors in the calibration of the matter power spectrum. We find that when photo-z uncertainty is taken into account the requirements on the level of precision in the prediction for the matter power spectrum are more stringent than previously thought. Including degree-scale galaxy clustering statistics in a joint analysis with weak lensing not only strengthens the survey's constraining power by ~20%, but can also have a profound impact on the calibration demands, decreasing the degradation in dark energy constraints with matter power spectrum uncertainty by a factor of 2-5. Similarly, using galaxy clustering information significantly relaxes the demands on photo-z calibration. We compare these calibration requirements to the contemporary state-of-the-art in photometric redshift estimation and predictions of the power spectrum and suggest strategies to utilize forthcoming data optimally.

Abstract:
Weak lensing by large scale structure induces correlated ellipticities in the images of distant galaxies. The two-point correlation is determined by the matter power spectrum along the line of sight. We use the fully nonlinear evolution of the power spectrum to compute the predicted ellipticity correlation. We present results for different measures of the second moment for angular scales \theta \simeq 1'-3 degrees and for alternative normalizations of the power spectrum, in order to explore the best strategy for constraining the cosmological parameters. Normalizing to observed cluster abundance the rms amplitude of ellipticity within a 15' radius is \simeq 0.01 z_s^{0.6}, almost independent of the cosmological model, with z_s being the median redshift of background galaxies. Nonlinear effects in the evolution of the power spectrum significantly enhance the ellipticity for \theta < 10' -- on 1' the rms ellipticity is \simeq 0.05, which is nearly twice the linear prediction. This enhancement means that the signal to noise for the ellipticity is only weakly increasing with angle for 2'< \theta < 2 degrees, unlike the expectation from linear theory that it is strongly peaked on degree scales. The scaling with cosmological parameters also changes due to nonlinear effects. By measuring the correlations on small (nonlinear) and large (linear) angular scales, different cosmological parameters can be independently constrained to obtain a model independent estimate of both power spectrum amplitude and matter density \Omega_m. Nonlinear effects also modify the probability distribution of the ellipticity. Using second order perturbation theory we find that over most of the range of interest there are significant deviations from a normal distribution.

Abstract:
Weak gravitational lensing surveys have the potential to directly probe mass density fluctuation in the universe. Recent studies have shown that it is possible to model the statistics of the convergence field at small angular scales by modeling the statistics of the underlying density field in the highly nonlinear regime. We propose a new method to model the complete probability distribution function of the convergence field as a function of smoothing angle and source redshift. The model relies on a hierarchical ansatz for the behavior of higher order correlations of the density field. We compare our results with ray tracing simulations and find very good agreement over a range of smoothing angles. Whereas the density probability distribution function is not sensitive to the cosmological model, the probability distribution function for the convergence can be used to constrain both the power spectrum and cosmological parameters.