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Astron. Astrophys. 356, 771-787 (2000)

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Statistical properties of the convergence due to weak gravitational lensing by non-linear structures

P. Valageas

Service de Physique Théorique, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Received 18 November 1999 / Accepted 18 February 2000


Density fluctuations in the matter distribution lead to distortions of the images of distant galaxies through weak gravitational lensing effects. This provides an efficient probe of the cosmological parameters and of the density field. In this article, we investigate the statistical properties of the convergence due to weak gravitational lensing by non-linear structures (i.e. we consider small angular windows [FORMULA]). Previous studies have shown how to relate the second and third order moments of the convergence to those of the density contrast while models based on the Press-Schechter prescription provide an estimate of the tail of [FORMULA]. Here we present a method to obtain an estimate of the full p.d.f.of the convergence [FORMULA] . It is based on a realistic description of the density field which applies to overdense as well as underdense regions. We show that our predictions agree very well with the results of N-body simulations for the convergence. This could allow one to derive the cosmological parameters [FORMULA] as well as the full p.d.f. [FORMULA] of the density contrast itself in the non-linear regime from observations. Hence this gives a very powerful tool to constrain scenarios of structure formation.

Key words: cosmology: theory – cosmology: gravitational lensing – cosmology: large-scale structure of Universe

This article contains no SIMBAD objects.


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: April 17, 2000