Publications by Harry Desmond


Uncorrelated velocity and size residuals across galaxy rotation curves

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press (OUP) (2019)

H Desmond, H Katz, F Lelli, S McGaugh


Local resolution of the Hubble tension: The impact of screened fifth forces on the cosmic distance ladder

Physical Review D American Physical Society (APS) 100 (2019) 043537

H Desmond, B Jain, J Sakstein


Screened fifth forces in parity-breaking correlation functions

Physical Review D American Physical Society (APS) 100 (2019) 064030

D Kodwani, H Desmond


Constraints on chameleon f(R)-gravity from galaxy rotation curves of the SPARC sample

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press (OUP) 489 (2019) 771-787

AP Naik, E Puchwein, A-C Davis, D Sijacki, H Desmond

<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title> <jats:p>In chameleon f(R)-gravity, the fifth force will lead to ‘upturns’ in galaxy rotation curves near the screening radius. The location of the upturn depends on the cosmic background value of the scalar field $\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}$, as well as the mass, size, and environment of the galaxy. We search for this signature of modified gravity in the SPARC sample of measured rotation curves, using an MCMC technique to derive constraints on $\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}$. Assuming NFW dark matter haloes and with $\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}$ freely varying for each galaxy, most galaxies prefer f(R) gravity to ΛCDM, but there is a large spread of inferred $\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}$ values, inconsistent with a single global value. Requiring instead a consistent $\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}$ value for the whole sample, models with $\log _{10}|\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}|\gt -6.1$ are excluded. On the other hand, models in the range $-7.5\lt \log _{10}|\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}|\lt -6.5$ seem to be favoured with respect to ΛCDM, with a significant peak at −7. However, this signal is largely a result of galaxies for which the f(R) signal is degenerate with the core/cusp problem, and when the NFW profile is replaced with a cored halo profile, ΛCDM gives better fits than any given f(R) model. Thus, we find no convincing evidence of f(R) gravity down to the level of $|\bar{f}_\mathrm{R0}|\sim 6 \times 10^{-8}$, with the caveat that if cored halo density profiles cannot ultimately be explained within ΛCDM, a screened modified gravity theory could possibly provide an alternative solution for the core/cusp problem. However, the f(R) models studied here fall short of achieving this.</jats:p>


Screened fifth forces mediated by dark matter-baryon interactions: Theory and astrophysical probes

Physical Review D American Physical Society (APS) 100 (2019) 104035

H Desmond, J Sakstein, B Jain


Testing self-interacting dark matter with galaxy warps

Physical Review D American Physical Society 100 (2019) 123006

K Pardo, H Desmond, P Ferreira


The fifth force in the local cosmic web

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters Oxford University Press (OUP) 483 (2019) L64-L68

H Desmond, PG Ferreira, G Lavaux, J Jasche


The baryonic Tully–Fisher relation for different velocity definitions and implications for galaxy angular momentum

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press (OUP) 484 (2019) 3267-3278

F Lelli, SS McGaugh, JM Schombert, H Desmond, H Katz


Stellar feedback and the energy budget of late-type Galaxies: Missing baryons and core creation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 480 (2018) 4287–4301-

H Katz, H Desmond, F Lelli, S McGaugh, A Di Cintio, C Brook, J Schombert

In a ΛCDM cosmology, galaxy formation is a globally inefficient process: it is often the case that far fewer baryons are observed in galaxy discs than expected from the cosmic baryon fraction. The location of these ‘missing baryons’ is unclear. By fitting halo profiles to the rotation curves of galaxies in the SPARC data set, we measure the ‘missing baryon’ mass for individual late-type systems. Assuming that haloes initially accrete the cosmological baryon fraction, we show that the maximum energy available from supernovae is typically not enough to completely eject these ‘missing baryons’ from a halo, but it is often sufficient to heat them to the virial temperature. The energy available from supernovae has the same scaling with galaxy mass as the energy needed to heat or eject the ‘missing baryons’, indicating that the coupling efficiency of the feedback to the ISM may be constant with galaxy virial mass. We further find that the energy available from supernova feedback is always enough to convert a primordial cusp into a core and has magnitude consistent with what is required to heat the ‘missing baryons’ to the virial temperature. Taking a census of the baryon content of galaxies with 109 &lt; Mvir/M⊙ &lt; 1012 reveals that ∼86 per cent of baryons are likely to be in a hot phase surrounding the galaxies and possibly observable in the X-ray, ∼7 per cent are in the form of cold gas, and ∼7 per cent are in stars.


The tight empirical relation between dark matter halo mass and flat rotation velocity for late-type galaxies

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters Oxford University Press 483 (2018) L98–L103-

H Katz, H Desmond, S McGaugh, F Lelli

We present a new empirical relation between galaxy dark matter halo mass (Mhalo) and the velocity along the flat portion of the rotation curve (Vflat), derived from 120 late-type galaxies from the SPARC data base. The orthogonal scatter in this relation is comparable to the observed scatter in the baryonic Tully–Fisher relation (BTFR), indicating a tight coupling between total halo mass and galaxy kinematics at r ≪ Rvir. The small vertical scatter in the relation makes it an extremely competitive estimator of total halo mass. We demonstrate that this conclusion holds true for different priors on M*/L[3.6μ] that give a tight BTFR, but requires that the halo density profile follow DC14 rather than NFW. We provide additional relations between Mhalo and other velocity definitions at smaller galactic radii (i.e. V2.2, Veff, and Vmax) which can be useful for estimating halo masses from kinematic surveys, providing an alternative to abundance matching. Furthermore, we constrain the dark matter analogue of the radial acceleration relation and also find its scatter to be small, demonstrating the fine balance between baryons and dark matter in their contribution to galaxy kinematics.


Fifth force constraints from galaxy warps

PHYSICAL REVIEW D 98 (2018) ARTN 083010

H Desmond, PG Ferreira, G Lavaux, J Jasche


Reconstructing the gravitational field of the local universe

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Blackwell Publishing Inc. (0)

H Desmond, PG Ferreira, G Lavaux, J Jasche

Tests of gravity at the galaxy scale are in their infancy. As a first step to systematically uncovering the gravitational significance of galaxies, we map three fundamental gravitational variables -- the Newtonian potential, acceleration and curvature -- over the galaxy environments of the local universe to a distance of approximately 200 Mpc. Our method combines the contributions from galaxies in an all-sky redshift survey, halos from an N-body simulation hosting low-luminosity objects, and linear and quasi-linear modes of the density field. We use the ranges of these variables to determine the extent to which galaxies expand the scope of generic tests of gravity and are capable of constraining specific classes of model for which they have special significance. Finally, we investigate the improvements afforded by upcoming galaxy surveys.


Fifth force constraints from the separation of galaxy mass components

PHYSICAL REVIEW D 98 (2018) ARTN 064015

H Desmond, PG Ferreira, G Lavaux, J Jasche


The Faber–Jackson relation and Fundamental Plane from halo abundance matching

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 465 (2016) 820-833

H Desmond, RH Wechsler

The Fundamental Plane (FP) describes the relation between the stellar mass, size, and velocity dispersion of elliptical galaxies; the Faber–Jackson relation (FJR) is its projection on to {mass, velocity} space. In this work, we re-deploy and expand the framework of Desmond &amp; Wechsler to ask whether abundance matching-based Λ-cold dark matter models which have shown success in matching the spatial distribution of galaxies are also capable of explaining key properties of the FJR and FP, including their scatter. Within our framework, agreement with the normalization of the FJR requires haloes to expand in response to disc formation.We find that the tilt of the FP may be explained by a combination of the observed non-homology in galaxy structure and the variation in mass-to-light ratio produced by abundance matching with a universal initial mass function, provided that the anisotropy of stellar motions is taken into account. However, the predicted scatter around the FP is considerably increased by situating galaxies in cosmologically motivated haloes due to the variations in halo properties at fixed stellar mass and appears to exceed that of the data. This implies that additional correlations between galaxy and halo variables may be required to fully reconcile these models with elliptical galaxy scaling relations.


A statistical investigation of the mass discrepancy–acceleration relation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 464 (2016) 4160-4175

H Desmond

We use the mass discrepancy–acceleration relation (the correlation between the ratio of total-to-visible mass and acceleration in galaxies; MDAR) to test the galaxy–halo connection. We analyse the MDAR using a set of 16 statistics that quantify its four most important features: shape, scatter, the presence of a ‘characteristic acceleration scale’, and the correlation of its residuals with other galaxy properties. We construct an empirical framework for the galaxy– halo connection inLCDMto generate predictions for these statistics, starting with conventional correlations (halo abundance matching;AM)and introducing more where required. Comparing to the SPARC data, we find that: (1) the approximate shape of the MDAR is readily reproduced by AM, and there is no evidence that the acceleration at which dark matter becomes negligible has less spread in the data than in AM mocks; (2) even under conservative assumptions, AM significantly overpredicts the scatter in the relation and its normalization at low acceleration, and furthermore positions dark matter too close to galaxies’ centres on average; (3) the MDAR affords 2σ evidence for an anticorrelation of galaxy size and Hubble type with halo mass or concentration at fixed stellar mass. Our analysis lays the groundwork for a bottom-up determination of the galaxy–halo connection from relations such as the MDAR, provides concrete statistical tests for specific galaxy formationmodels, and brings into sharper focus the relative evidence accorded by galaxy kinematics to LCDM and modified gravity alternatives.


On the galaxy–halo connection in the EAGLE simulation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters Oxford University Press 471 (2017) L11-L15

H Desmond, Y-Y Mao, RH Wechsler, RA Crain, J Schaye

Empirical models of galaxy formation require assumptions about the correlations between galaxy and halo properties. These may be calibrated against observations or inferred from physical models such as hydrodynamical simulations. In this Letter, we use the EAGLE simulation to investigate the correlation of galaxy size with halo properties. We motivate this analysis by noting that the common assumption of angular momentum partition between baryons and dark matter in rotationally supported galaxies overpredicts both the spread in the stellar mass–size relation and the anticorrelation of size and velocity residuals, indicating a problem with the galaxy–halo connection it implies. We find the EAGLE galaxy population to perform significantly better on both statistics, and trace this success to the weakness of the correlations of galaxy size with halo mass, concentration and spin at fixed stellar mass. Using these correlations in empirical models will enable fine-grained aspects of galaxy scalings to be matched.


The scatter, residual correlations and curvature of the sparc baryonic Tully–Fisher relation

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters Oxford University Press 472 (2017) L35-L39

H Desmond

In recentwork, Lelli et al. argue that the tightness of the baryonic Tully–Fisher relation (BTFR) of the SPARC galaxy sample, and the weakness of the correlation of its residuals with effective radius, pose challenges to Λ cold dark matter cosmology. In this Letter, we calculate the statistical significance of these results in the framework of halo abundance matching, which imposes a canonical galaxy–halo connection. Taking full account of sample variance among SPARC-like realizations of the parent halo population, we find the scatter in the predicted BTFR to be 3.6σ too high, but the correlation of its residuals with galaxy size to be naturally weak. Further, we find abundance matching to generate BTFR curvature in 3.0σ disagreement with the data, and a fraction of galaxies with non-flat rotation curves somewhat larger than observed.


The Tully–Fisher and mass–size relations from halo abundance matching

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 454 (2015) 322-343

H Desmond, RH Wechsler

The Tully–Fisher relation (TFR) expresses the connection between rotating galaxies and the dark matter haloes they inhabit, and therefore contains a wealth of information about galaxy formation. We construct a general framework to investigate whether models based on halo abundance matching are able to reproduce the observed stellar mass TFR and mass–size relation (MSR), and use the data to constrain galaxy formation parameters. Our model tests a range of plausible scenarios, differing in the response of haloes to disc formation, the relative angular momentum of baryons and dark matter, the impact of selection effects, and the abundance matching parameters. We show that agreement with the observed TFR puts an upper limit on the scatter between galaxy and halo properties, requires weak or reversed halo contraction, and favours selection effects that preferentially eliminate fast-rotating galaxies. The MSR constrains the ratio of the disc to halo specific angular momentum to be approximately in the range 0.6–1.2. We identify and quantify two problems that models of this nature face. (1) They predict too large an intrinsic scatter for the MSR, and (2) they predict too strong an anticorrelation between the TFR and MSR residuals. We argue that resolving these problems requires introducing a correlation between stellar surface density and enclosed dark matter mass. Finally, we explore the expected difference between the TFRs of central and satellite galaxies, finding that in the favoured models this difference should be detectable in a sample of ∼700 galaxies.