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Gravity to Galaxies — N-body Simulations for the DESI Survey

GROVE, CAMERON (2023) Gravity to Galaxies — N-body Simulations for the DESI Survey. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Simulations of the evolution of the universe under gravity are essential to our understanding of modern cosmology. These $N$-body simulations can contain trillions of particles and are run on some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. $N$-body simulations are necessary to understand the data from large galaxy surveys that are mapping the universe in higher detail than ever before. This thesis explores the accuracy of $N$-body simulation methods and their applications towards the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Survey. Firstly, the accuracy of the gravity scheme in the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics With Inter-dependent Fine-grained Tasking (\SWIFT) simulation code is tested. These tests inform us on the limitations of running \SWIFT with high values of the opening angle parameter $\theta$. Additionally, an error in the large-scale clustering in \SWIFT simulations was found and fixed. Next, a comparison between several simulation codes is presented. In this comparison, simulations were run from identical initial conditions and the level of discrepancy caused by choice of simulation code is measured. The systematic errors caused by choice of code are compared to the statistical errors in a DESI Survey volume. We find that the matter power spectra from independent codes agree to within 1\% for $k<10h$Mpc$^{-1}$. The halo mass functions agree to within 1\% between mass limits of $10^{11.5} - 10^{14}$~$h^{-1}$M$_{\odot}$. Halo clustering measurements are within the DESI year 5 uncertainty at scales greater than $20h^{-1}$Mpc. The results justified the choice of resolution adopted in the AbacusSummit suite of simulations that are used to create mock galaxy catalogues for DESI. To connect simulated dark matter halos to observed galaxies, we use a halo occupation distribution (HOD). We have produced a novel HOD fitting procedure that simultaneously fits HOD curves describing samples with varying absolute magnitude limits. This allows us to produce mock catalogues that reproduce a target luminosity- and colour-dependent galaxy clustering correlation function, and a target galaxy luminosity function. Finally, mock galaxy catalogues are created from the AbacusSummit suite of simulations for the DESI Bright Galaxy Survey (BGS). These mock catalogues will aid with measuring systematic effects in DESI BGS data and testing the unbiased recovery of cosmological parameters.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Feb 2023 08:59

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