Hunting for Dark Matter Subhalos in Strong Gravitational Lensing with Neural Networks

24 Oct 2020  ·  Joshua Yao-Yu Lin, Hang Yu, Warren Morningstar, Jian Peng, Gilbert Holder ·

Dark matter substructures are interesting since they can reveal the properties of dark matter. Collisionless N-body simulations of cold dark matter show more substructures compared with the population of dwarf galaxy satellites observed in our local group. Therefore, understanding the population and property of subhalos at cosmological scale would be an interesting test for cold dark matter. In recent years, it has become possible to detect individual dark matter subhalos near images of strongly lensed extended background galaxies. In this work, we discuss the possibility of using deep neural networks to detect dark matter subhalos, and showing some preliminary results with simulated data. We found that neural networks not only show promising results on detecting multiple dark matter subhalos, but also learn to reject the subhalos on the lensing arc of a smooth lens where there is no subhalo.

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics Computational Physics