Publications by Harry Desmond


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.


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