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Date of Award

7-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Supervisor

Laura C. Parker

Language

English

Abstract

Gravitational lensing can be used as a direct probe of the distribution of dark matter around galaxies , groups, and clusters, making it a powerful tool in astrophysics. In this thesis, we introduce the basics of gravitational lensing and weak gravitational lensing. Using weak lensing to study the ensemble-averaged properties of a population of objects, we present a study of galaxy-galaxy lensing of galaxy-sized dark matter halos using data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) Deep.

We calculated the average velocity dispersion for an L* galaxy at a redshift of 0.54 to be 113 ± 9 kms-1, with a mass of 1.7 ± 0.3 x 1012 h- 1M. We present the first conclusive evidence for non-spherical galaxy dark matter halos. Our results favour a dark matter halo with an ellipt icity of 0.70 ± 0.18 at > 5σ when averaged over all galaxies. If the sample of foreground lens galaxies is selected by colour , we detect non-spherical halos for all 4 samples except a green subsample. We also consider samples of galaxies divided by colour , redshift and luminosity. Our luminosity samples allowed us to calculate a B-band Tully-Fisher relation which is consistent with theoretical predictions.
From our data, we do not detect any evolut ion in galaxy dark matter halos from a redshift of 0. 78 to 0.39, corresponding to no evolut ion from when the Universe was 6.6 Gyr to 9.1 Gyr old in a ACDM cosmology.

McMaster University Library

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