Non-linear relativistic contributions to the cosmological weak-lensing convergence

Sambatra Andrianomena, Chris Clarkson, Prina Patel, Obinna Umeh, Jean-Philippe Uzan

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Relativistic contributions to the dynamics of structure formation come in a variety of forms, and can potentially give corrections to the standard picture on typical scales of 100 Mpc. These corrections cannot be obtained by Newtonian numerical simulations, so it is important to accurately estimate the magnitude of these relativistic effects. Density fluctuations couple to produce a background of gravitational waves, which is larger than any primordial background. A similar interaction produces a much larger spectrum of vector modes which represent the frame-dragging rotation of spacetime. These can change the metric at the percent level in the concordance model at scales below the equality scale. Vector modes modify the lensing of background galaxies by large-scale structure. This gives in principle the exciting possibility of measuring relativistic frame dragging effects on cosmological scales. The effects of the non-linear tensor and vector modes on the cosmic convergence are computed and compared to first-order lensing contributions from density fluctuations, Doppler lensing, and smaller Sachs-Wolfe effects. The lensing from gravitational waves is negligible so we concentrate on the vector modes. We show the relative importance of this for future surveys such as Euclid and SKA. We find that these non-linear effects only marginally affect the overall weak lensing signal so they can safely be neglected in most analyses, though are still much larger than the linear Sachs-Wolfe terms. The second-order vector contribution can dominate the first-order Doppler lensing term at moderate redshifts and are actually more important for survey geometries like the SKA.
Original languageEnglish
Article number023
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number06
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2014


  • gr-qc
  • astro-ph.CO


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