Vol 8, No 5

Resolving the Mass Discrepancy between Strong and Weak Lensing Methods

Qian Zheng


Abstract We readdress the outstanding cluster mass discrepancy between strong and weak gravitational lensing techniques utilizing updated data of both giant arcs and weak lensing measurements from the literature. We find that the systematically higher values of cluster masses revealed by strong lensing can be attributed to the oversimplification of the lensing model when estimating the cluster mass enclosed within the giant arcs. This arises because inhomogeneities and substructures in the central cores of clusters may invalidate the spherical symmetry assumption used widely in previous applications. When a more realistic modeling of the arcs is used, then the masses by strong lensing agree fairly well with those given by weak lensing when both are extrapolated to the same cluster regions. We conclude that as of now no significant discrepancy has been found among different cluster mass estimators including optical galaxies, X-ray gas and lensing.



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