Lam Hui - Columbia University

Lam Hui
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Lam Hui
Columbia University
New York
United States

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (41)
High Energy Physics - Theory (28)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (21)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (5)
Astrophysics (5)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (5)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (5)
Nuclear Theory (2)
Physics - Fluid Dynamics (1)
Quantum Physics (1)
Physics - Computational Physics (1)

Publications Authored By Lam Hui

Scalar-tensor theories of gravity generally violate the strong equivalence principle, namely compact objects have a suppressed coupling to the scalar force, causing them to fall slower. A black hole is the extreme example where such a coupling vanishes, i.e. Read More

An intriguing alternative to cold dark matter (CDM) is that the dark matter is a light ( $m \sim 10^{-22}$ eV) boson having a de Broglie wavelength $\lambda \sim 1$ kpc, often called fuzzy dark matter (FDM). We describe the arguments from particle physics that motivate FDM, review previous work on its astrophysical signatures, and analyze several unexplored aspects of its behavior. In particular, (i) FDM halos smaller than about $10^7 (m/10^{-22} {\rm eV})^{-3/2} M_\odot$ do not form. Read More

It is usually assumed that in the linear regime the two-point correlation function of galaxies contains only a monopole, quadrupole and hexadecapole. Looking at cross-correlations between different populations of galaxies, this turns out not to be the case. In particular, the cross-correlations between a bright and a faint population of galaxies contain also a dipole. Read More

It has been shown recently that relativistic distortions generate a dipolar modulation in the two-point correlation function of galaxies. To measure this relativistic dipole it is necessary to cross-correlate different populations of galaxies with for example different luminosities or colours. In this paper, we construct an optimal estimator to measure the dipole with multiple populations. Read More

By examining the locations of central black holes in two elliptical galaxies, M\,32 and M\,87, we derive constraints on the violation of the strong equivalence principle for purely gravitational objects, i.e. black holes, of less than about two-thirds, $\eta_N<0. Read More

We present a systematic exploration of dark energy and modified gravity models containing a single scalar field non-minimally coupled to the metric. Even though the parameter space is large, by exploiting an effective field theory (EFT) formulation and by imposing simple physical constraints such as stability conditions and (sub-)luminal propagation of perturbations, we arrive at a number of generic predictions. (1) The linear growth rate of matter density fluctuations is generally suppressed compared to $\Lambda$CDM at intermediate redshifts ($0. Read More

Affiliations: 1Columbia University, 2Columbia University, 3Columbia University, 4BNL, 5Columbia University, 6UKZN

Weak gravitational lensing is a powerful cosmological probe, with non--Gaussian features potentially containing the majority of the information. We examine constraints on the parameter triplet $(\Omega_m,w,\sigma_8)$ from non-Gaussian features of the weak lensing convergence field, including a set of moments (up to $4^{\rm th}$ order) and Minkowski functionals, using publicly available data from the 154deg$^2$ CFHTLenS survey. We utilize a suite of ray--tracing N-body simulations spanning 91 points in $(\Omega_m,w,\sigma_8)$ parameter space, replicating the galaxy sky positions, redshifts and shape noise in the CFHTLenS catalogs. Read More

Consistency relations, which relate the squeezed limit of an (N+1)-point correlation function to an N-point function, are non-perturbative symmetry statements that hold even if the associated high momentum modes are deep in the nonlinear regime and astrophysically complex. Recently, Kehagias & Riotto and Peloso & Pietroni discovered a consistency relation applicable to large scale structure. We show that this can be recast into a simple physical statement in Lagrangian space: that the squeezed correlation function (suitably normalized) vanishes. Read More

Affiliations: 1Columbia University, 2Columbia University, 3Columbia University, 4Columbia University, 5UKZN, 6BNL

Lensing peaks have been proposed as a useful statistic, containing cosmological information from non-Gaussianities that is inaccessible from traditional two-point statistics such as the power spectrum or two-point correlation functions. Here we examine constraints on cosmological parameters from weak lensing peak counts, using the publicly available data from the 154 deg$^2$ CFHTLenS survey. We utilize a new suite of ray-tracing N-body simulations on a grid of 91 cosmological models, covering broad ranges of the three parameters $\Omega_m$, $\sigma_8$, and $w$, and replicating the Galaxy sky positions, redshifts, and shape noise in the CFHTLenS observations. Read More

Consistency relations -- which relate an N-point function to a squeezed (N+1)-point function -- are useful in large scale structure (LSS) because of their non-perturbative nature: they hold even if the N-point function is deep in the nonlinear regime, and even if they involve astrophysically messy galaxy observables. The non-perturbative nature of the consistency relations is guaranteed by the fact that they are symmetry statements, in which the velocity plays the role of the soft pion. In this paper, we address two issues: (1) how to derive the relations systematically using the residual coordinate freedom in the Newtonian gauge, and relate them to known results in $\zeta$-gauge (often used in studies of inflation); (2) under what conditions the consistency relations are violated. Read More

We show that a static spherically symmetric black hole, in a generic theory of gravity with generic matter fields, has a two-dimensional Lorentz symmetry. Read More

The recently derived consistency relations for Large Scale Structure do not hold if the Equivalence Principle (EP) is violated. We show it explicitly in a toy model with two fluids, one of which is coupled to a fifth force. We explore the constraints that galaxy surveys can set on EP violation looking at the squeezed limit of the 3-point function involving two populations of objects. Read More

The weak lensing power spectrum is a powerful tool to probe cosmological parameters. Additionally, lensing peak counts contain cosmological information beyond the power spectrum. Both of these statistics can be affected by the preferential selection of source galaxies in patches of the sky with high magnification, as well as by the dilution in the source galaxy surface density in such regions. Read More

The discovery of cosmic acceleration has stimulated theorists to consider dark energy or modifications to Einstein's General Relativity as possible explanations. The last decade has seen advances in theories that go beyond smooth dark energy -- modified gravity and interactions of dark energy. While the theoretical terrain is being actively explored, the generic presence of fifth forces and dark sector couplings suggests a set of distinct observational signatures. Read More

We compare the efficiency of moments and Minkowski functionals (MFs) in constraining the subset of cosmological parameters (Omega_m,w,sigma_8) using simulated weak lensing convergence maps. We study an analytic perturbative expansion of the MFs in terms of the moments of the convergence field and of its spatial derivatives. We show that this perturbation series breaks down on smoothing scales below 5', while it shows a good degree of convergence on larger scales (15'). Read More

We study the two-point cross-correlation function between two populations of galaxies: for instance a bright population and a faint population. We show that this cross-correlation is asymmetric under the exchange of the line-of-sight coordinate of the galaxies, i.e. Read More

We investigate a recent development of the black hole information problem, in which a practical paradox has been formulated to show that complementarity is insufficient. A crucial ingredient in this practical paradox is to distill information from the early Hawking radiation within the past lightcone of the black hole. By causality this action can back-react on the black hole. Read More

Magnetar magnetospheres are believed to be strongly twisted, due to shearing of the stellar crust by internal magnetic stresses. We present time-dependent axisymmetric simulations showing in detail the evolution of relativistic force-free magnetospheres subjected to slow twisting through large angles. When the twist amplitude is small, the magnetosphere moves quasi-statically through a sequence of equilibria of increasing free energy. Read More

We show that the correlation functions of any single-field cosmological model with constant growing-modes are constrained by an infinite number of novel consistency relations, which relate (N+1)-point correlation functions with a soft-momentum scalar or tensor mode to a symmetry transformation on N-point correlation functions of hard-momentum modes. We derive these consistency relations from Ward identities for an infinite tower of non-linearly realized global symmetries governing scalar and tensor perturbations. These symmetries can be labeled by an integer n. Read More

A theory of the quasidilaton is an extension of massive gravity by a scalar field, nonlinearly realizing a certain new global symmetry of the Lagrangian. It has been shown that unlike pure massive gravity, this theory does admit homogeneous and isotropic spatially flat solutions. Among the latter, selfaccelerated solutions attract a special attention. Read More

We derive consistency relations for correlators of scalar cosmological perturbations which hold in the "squeezed limit" in which one or more of the external momenta become soft. Our results are formulated as relations between suitably defined one-particle irreducible N-point and (N-1)-point functions that follow from residual spatial conformal diffeomorphisms of the unitary gauge Lagrangian. As such, some of these relations are exact to all orders in perturbation theory, and do not rely on approximate deSitter invariance or other dynamical assumptions (e. Read More

Gravitational waves at suitable frequencies can resonantly interact with a binary system, inducing changes to its orbit. A stochastic gravitational-wave background causes the orbital elements of the binary to execute a classic random walk, with the variance of orbital elements growing with time. The lack of such a random walk in binaries that have been monitored with high precision over long time-scales can thus be used to place an upper bound on the gravitational-wave background. Read More

Non-Gaussianity in the inflationary perturbations can couple observable scales to modes of much longer wavelength (even superhorizon), leaving as a signature a large-angle modulation of the observed cosmic microwave background (CMB) power spectrum. This provides an alternative origin for a power asymmetry which is otherwise often ascribed to a breaking of statistical isotropy. The non-Gaussian modulation effect can be significant even for typical ~10^{-5} perturbations, while respecting current constraints on non-Gaussianity, if the squeezed limit of the bispectrum is sufficiently infrared divergent. Read More

The chameleon, or generalizations thereof, is a light scalar that couple to matter with gravitational strength, but whose manifestation depends on the ambient matter density. A key feature is that the screening mechanism suppressing its effects in high-density environments is determined by the local scalar field value. Under very general conditions, we prove two theorems limiting its cosmological impact: i) the Compton wavelength of such a scalar can be at most Mpc at present cosmic density, which restricts its impact to non-linear scales; ii) the conformal factor relating Einstein- and Jordan-frame scale factors is essentially constant over the last Hubble time, which precludes the possibility of self-acceleration. Read More

General Relativity (GR), with or without matter fields, admits a natural extension to a scale invariant theory that requires a dilaton. Here we show that the recently formulated massive GR, minimally coupled to matter, possesses a new global symmetry related to scaling of the reference coordinates w.r. Read More

We remark on the existence of non-linearly realized conformal symmetries for scalar adiabatic perturbations in cosmology. These conformal symmetries are present for any cosmological background, beyond any slow-roll or quasi-de Sitter approximation. The dilatation transformation shifts the curvature perturbation by a constant, and corresponds to the well-known symmetry under spatial rescaling. Read More

We consider a galileon field coupled to gravity. The standard no-hair theorems do not apply, because of the galileon's peculiar derivative interactions. We prove that, nonetheless, static spherically symmetric black holes cannot sustain non-trivial galileon profiles. Read More

We present the first simulations of evolving, strongly twisted magnetar magnetospheres. Slow shearing of the magnetar crust is seen to lead to a series of magnetospheric expansion and reconnection events, corresponding to X-ray flares and bursts. The axisymmetric simulations include rotation of the neutron star and the magnetic wind through the light cylinder. Read More

Modified gravity theories capable of genuine self-acceleration typically invoke a galileon scalar which mediates a long range force, but is screened by the Vainshtein mechanism on small scales. In such theories, non-relativistic stars carry the full scalar charge (proportional to their mass), while black holes carry none. Thus, for a galaxy free-falling in some external gravitational field, its central massive black hole is expected to lag behind the stars. Read More

We describe a new scheme for evolving the equations of force-free electrodynamics, the vanishing-inertia limit of magnetohydrodynamics. This pseudospectral code uses global orthogonal basis function expansions to take accurate spatial derivatives, allowing the use of an unstaggered mesh and the complete force-free current density. The method has low numerical dissipation and diffusion outside of singular current sheets. Read More

We study the scale-dependence of halo bias in generic (non-local) primordial non-Gaussian (PNG) initial conditions of the type motivated by inflation, parametrized by an arbitrary quadratic kernel. We first show how to generate non-local PNG initial conditions with minimal overhead compared to local PNG models for a general class of primordial bispectra that can be written as linear combinations of separable templates. We run cosmological simulations for the local, and non-local equilateral and orthogonal models and present results on the scale-dependence of halo bias. Read More

We consider the low-energy effective field theory describing the infrared dynamics of non-dissipative fluids. We extend previous work to accommodate conserved charges, and we clarify the matching between field theory variables and thermodynamical ones. We discuss the systematics of the derivative expansion, for which field theory offers a conceptually clear and technically neat scheme. Read More

We develop the formalism that incorporates quantum anomalies in the effective field theory of non-dissipative fluids. We consider the effect of adding a Wess-Zumino-like term to the low-energy effective action to account for anomalies. In this paper we restrict to two spacetime dimensions. Read More

Similar to the magnification of the galaxies' fluxes by gravitational lensing, the extinction of the fluxes by comic dust, whose existence is recently detected by Menard et al (2009), also modify the distribution of a flux-selected galaxy sample. We study the anisotropic distortion by dust extinction to the 3D galaxy correlation function, including magnification bias and redshift distortion at the same time. We find the extinction distortion is most significant along the line of sight and at large separations, similar to that by magnification bias. Read More

We present an analysis of peculiar velocities and their effect on supernova cosmology. In particular, we study (a) the corrections due to our own motion, (b) the effects of correlations in peculiar velocities induced by large-scale structure, and (c) uncertainties arising from a possible local under- or over-density. For all of these effects we present a case study of their impact on the cosmology derived by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-II Supernova Survey (SDSS-II SN Survey). Read More

We derive a general expression for the large-scale halo bias, in theories with a scale-dependent linear growth, using the excursion set formalism. Such theories include modified gravity models, and models in which the dark energy clustering is non-negligible. A scale dependence is imprinted in both the formation and evolved biases by the scale-dependent growth. Read More

Theories that attempt to explain cosmic acceleration by modifying gravity typically introduces a long-range scalar force that needs to be screened on small scales. One common screening mechanism is the chameleon, where the scalar force is screened in environments with a sufficiently deep gravitational potential, but acts unimpeded in regions with a shallow gravitational potential. This leads to a variation in the overall gravitational G with environment. Read More

The equivalence of inertial and gravitational masses is a defining feature of general relativity. Here, we clarify the status of the equivalence principle for interactions mediated by a universally coupled scalar, motivated partly by recent attempts to modify gravity at cosmological distances. Although a universal scalar-matter coupling is not mandatory, once postulated, it is stable against classical and quantum renormalizations in the matter sector. Read More

It has recently been shown in high resolution numerical simulations that relativistic collisions of bubbles in the context of a multi-vacua potential may lead to the creation of bubbles in a new vacuum. In this paper, we show that scalar fields with only potential interactions behave like free fields during high-speed collisions; the kick received by them in a collision can be deduced simply by a linear superposition of the bubble wall profiles. This process is equivalent to the scattering of solitons in 1+1 dimensions. Read More

In Lyman-alpha forest measurements it is generally assumed that quasars are mere background light sources which are uncorrelated with the forest. Gravitational lensing of the quasars violates this assumption. This effect leads to a measurement bias, but more interestingly it provides a valuable signal. Read More

Scalar field theories with derivative interactions are known to possess solitonic excitations, but such solitons are generally unsatisfactory because the effective theory fails precisely where nonlinearities responsible for the solitons are important. A new class of theories possessing (internal) galilean invariance can in principle bypass this difficulty. Here, we show that these galileon theories do not possess stable solitonic solutions. Read More

Given a scalar field with metastable minima, bubbles nucleate quantum mechanically. When bubbles collide, energy stored in the bubble walls is converted into kinetic energy of the field. This kinetic energy can facilitate the classical nucleation of new bubbles in minima that lie below those of the "parent" bubbles. Read More

Theories that attempt to explain the observed cosmic acceleration by modifying general relativity all introduce a new scalar degree of freedom that is active on large scales, but is screened on small scales to match experiments. We show that if such screening occurrs via the chameleon mechanism such as in f(R), it is possible to have order one violation of the equivalence principle, despite the absence of explicit violation in the microscopic action. Namely, extended objects such as galaxies or constituents thereof do not all fall at the same rate. Read More

Only certain galaxies are included in surveys: those bright and large enough to be detectable as extended sources. Because gravitational lensing can make galaxies appear both brighter and larger, the presence of foreground inhomogeneities can scatter galaxies across not only magnitude cuts but also size cuts, changing the statistical properties of the resulting catalog. Here we explore this size bias, and how it combines with magnification bias to affect galaxy statistics. Read More

Only galaxies bright enough and large enough to be unambiguously identified and measured are included in galaxy surveys used to estimate cosmic shear. We demonstrate that because gravitational lensing can scatter galaxies across the brightness and size thresholds, cosmic shear experiments suffer from lensing bias. We calculate the effect on the shear power spectrum and show that - unless corrected for - it will lead analysts to cosmological parameters estimates that are biased at the 2-3\sigma level in DETF Stage III experiments, such as the Dark Energy Survey. Read More

We conduct a Markov Chain Monte Carlo study of the Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati (DGP) self-accelerating braneworld scenario given the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy, supernovae and Hubble constant data by implementing an effective dark energy prescription for modified gravity into a standard Einstein-Boltzmann code. We find no way to alleviate the tension between distance measures and horizon scale growth in this model. Growth alterations due to perturbations propagating into the bulk appear as excess CMB anisotropy at the lowest multipoles. Read More

We study the clustering of LRG galaxies in the latest spectroscopic SDSS data releases, DR6 and DR7, which sample over 1 Gpc^3/h^3 to z=0.47. The 2-point correlation function $\xisp$ is estimated as a function of perpendicular $\sigma$ and line-of-sight $\pi$ (radial) directions. Read More

We discuss models that can account for today's dark energy. The underlying cosmological constant may be Planck scale but starts as a redundant coupling which can be eliminated by a field redefinition. The observed vacuum energy arises when the redundancy is explicitly broken, say by a non-minimal coupling to curvature. Read More

Affiliations: 1Columbia University, 2Columbia University
Category: Astrophysics

Fry (1996) showed that galaxy bias has the tendency to evolve towards unity, i.e. in the long run, the galaxy distribution tends to trace that of matter. Read More

In paper I of this series we discuss how magnification bias distorts the 3D correlation function by enhancing the observed correlation in the line-of-sight (LOS) orientation, especially on large scales. This lensing anisotropy is distinctive, making it possible to separately measure the galaxy-galaxy, galaxy-magnification {\it and} magnification-magnification correlations. Here we extend the discussion to the power spectrum and also to redshift space. Read More