Testing general relativity with the Doppler magnification effect

Sambatra Andrianomena, Camille Bonvin, David Bacon, Philip Bull, Chris Clarkson, Roy Maartens, Teboho Moloi

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The apparent sizes and brightnesses of galaxies are correlated in a dipolar pattern around matter overdensities in redshift space, appearing larger on their near side and smaller on their far side. The opposite effect occurs for galaxies around an underdense region. These patterns of apparent magnification induce dipole and higher multipole terms in the cross-correlation of galaxy number density fluctuations with galaxy size/brightness (which is sensitive to the convergence field). This provides a means of directly measuring peculiar velocity statistics at low and intermediate redshift, with several advantages for performing cosmological tests of GR. In particular, it does not depend on empirically-calibrated scaling relations like the Tully-Fisher and Fundamental Plane methods. We show that the next generation of spectroscopic galaxy redshift surveys will be able to measure the Doppler magnification effect with sufficient signal-to-noise to test GR on large scales. We illustrate this with forecasts for the constraints that can be achieved on parametrised deviations from GR for forthcoming low-redshift galaxy surveys with DESI and SKA2. Although the cross-correlation statistic considered has a lower signal to noise than RSD, it will be a useful probe of GR since it is sensitive to different systematics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3759-3771
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • astro-ph.CO
  • gr-qc
  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/P000592/1
  • ST/N000668/1


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