Simulations of deep pencil-beam redshift surveys Academic Article uri icon

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  • We create mock pencil-beam redshift surveys from very large cosmological $N$-body simulations of two Cold Dark Matter cosmogonies, an Einstein-de Sitter model ($\tau$CDM) and a flat model with $\Omega_0 =0.3$ and a cosmological constant ($\Lambda$CDM). We use these to assess the significance of the apparent periodicity discovered by Broadhurst et al. (1990). Simulation particles are tagged as `galaxies' so as to reproduce observed present-day correlations. They are then identified along the past light-cones of hypothetical observers to create mock catalogues with the geometry and the distance distribution of the Broadhurst et al. data. We produce 1936 (2625) quasi-independent catalogues from our $\tau$CDM ($\Lambda$CDM) simulation. A couple of large clumps in a catalogue can produce a high peak at low wavenumbers in the corresponding one-dimensional power spectrum, without any apparent large-scale periodicity in the original redshift histogram. Although the simulated redshift histograms frequently display regularly spaced clumps, the spacing of these clumps varies between catalogues and there is no `preferred' period over our many realisations. We find only a 0.72 (0.49) per cent chance that the highest peak in the power spectrum of a $\tau$CDM ($\Lambda$CDM) catalogue has a peak-to-noise ratio higher than that in the Broadhurst et al. data. None of the simulated catalogues with such high peaks shows coherently spaced clumps with a significance as high as that of the real data. We conclude that in CDM universes, the kind of regularity observed by Broadhurst et al. has a priori probability well below $10^{-3}$.


  • Yoshida, N
  • Colberg, J
  • White, SDM
  • Evrard, AE
  • MacFarland, TJ
  • Couchman, Hugh M
  • Jenkins, A
  • Frenk, CS
  • Pearce, FR
  • Efstathiou, G
  • Peacock, JA
  • Thomas, PA

publication date

  • August 1, 2001