The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Quasar Lens Search. V. Final Catalog from the Seventh Data Release

The Astronomical Journal (Impact Factor: 4.02). 04/2012; 143(5):119. DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/143/5/119


We present the final statistical sample of lensed quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Quasar Lens Search (SQLS). The well-defined statistical lens sample consists of 26 lensed quasars brighter than i = 19.1 and in the redshift range of 0.6 < z < 2.2 selected from 50,826 spectroscopically confirmed quasars in the SDSS Data Release 7 (DR7), where we restrict the image separation range to 1'' < θ < 20'' and the i-band magnitude differences in two images to be smaller than 1.25 mag. The SDSS DR7 quasar catalog also contains 36 additional lenses identified with various techniques. In addition to these lensed quasars, we have identified 81 pairs of quasars from follow-up spectroscopy, 26 of which are physically associated binary quasars. The statistical lens sample covers a wide range of image separations, redshifts, and magnitudes, and therefore is suitable for systematic studies of cosmological parameters and surveys of the structure and evolution of galaxies and quasars.

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    • "The brighter lenses are selected to be representative of the majority of currently known lenses, selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. For reference, the current largest quasar lens sample comes from the SDSS Quasar Lens Search (SQLS; Oguri et al. 2006 [47]; Inada et al. 2012 [48]). The well-defined statistical quasar lens sample of it consists 26 lensed quasars which are selected from SDSS Data Release 7 (DR7) quasar catalog with Galactic extinction-corrected i-band magnitudes (15.0 ≤ i ≤ 19.1) in the low redshift (0.6 < z < 2.2), adopting morphological (image separations of 1 < θ < 20 ) and color (i-band magnitude difference between two images should be smaller than 1.25 mag) selection algorithms. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lens time delays are a powerful probe of cosmology, provided that the gravitational potential of the main deflector can be modeled with sufficient precision. Recent work has shown that this can be achieved by detailed modeling of the host galaxies of lensed quasars, which appear as "Einstein Rings" in high resolution images. We carry out a systematic exploration of the high resolution imaging required to exploit the thousands of lensed quasars that will be discovered by current and upcoming surveys with the next decade. Specifically, we simulate realistic lens systems as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), and ground based adaptive optics images taken with Keck or the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). We compare the performance of these pointed observations with that of images taken by the Euclid (VIS), Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) surveys. We use as our metric the precision with which the slope $\gamma'$ of the total mass density profile $\rho_{tot}\propto r^{-\gamma'}$ for the main deflector can be measured. Ideally, we require that the statistical error on $\gamma'$ be less than 0.02, such that it is subdominant to other sources of random and systematic uncertainties. We find that survey data will likely have sufficient depth and resolution to meet the target only for the brighter gravitational lens systems, comparable to those discovered by the SDSS survey. For fainter systems, that will be discovered by current and future surveys, targeted follow-up will be required. However, the exposure time required with upcoming facilitites such as JWST, the Keck Next Generation Adaptive Optics System, and TMT, will only be of order a few minutes per system, thus making the follow-up of hundreds of systems a practical and efficient cosmological probe.
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 06/2015; 2015(09). DOI:10.1088/1475-7516/2015/09/059 · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the small-scale (comoving separation 10 kpc/h < r_p < 200 kpc/h) two-point correlation function of quasars using a sample of 26 spectroscopically confirmed binary quasars at 0.6<z<2.2 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Quasar Lens Search (SQLS). Thanks to careful candidate selections and extensive follow-up observations of the SQLS, which is aimed at constructing a complete quasar lens sample, our sample of binary quasars is also expected to be nearly complete within a specified range of angular separations and redshifts. The measured small-scale correlation function rises steeply toward smaller scales, which is consistent with earlier studies based on incomplete or smaller binary quasar samples. We find that the quasar correlation function can be fitted by a power-law reasonably well over 4 order of magnitudes, with the best-fit slope of xi(r)\propto r^{-1.92}. We interpret the measured correlation function within the framework of the Halo Occupation Distribution (HOD). We propose a simple model which assumes a constant fraction of quasars that appear as satellites in dark matter haloes, and find that measured small-scale clustering signals constrain the satellite fraction to f_sat=0.054_{-0.016}^{+0.017} for a singular isothermal sphere number density profile of satellites. We note that the HOD modelling appears to underpredict clustering signals at the smallest separations of r_p ~ 10 kpc/h unless we assume very steep number density profiles (such as an NFW profile with the concentration parameter c_vir > 30), which may be suggestive of enhanced quasar activities by direct interactions.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 03/2012; 424(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21321.x · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a statistical analysis of the final lens sample from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Quasar Lens Search (SQLS). The number distribution of a complete subsample of 19 lensed quasars selected from 50,836 source quasars is compared with theoretical expectations, with particular attention given to the selection function. Assuming that the velocity function of galaxies does not evolve with redshift, the SQLS sample constrains the cosmological constant to ΩΛ = 0.79+0.06 –0.07(stat.)+0.06 –0.06(syst.) for a flat universe. The dark energy equation of state is found to be consistent with w = –1 when the SQLS is combined with constraints from baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) measurements or results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). We also obtain simultaneous constraints on cosmological parameters and redshift evolution of the galaxy velocity function, finding no evidence for redshift evolution at z 1 in any combinations of constraints. For instance, number density evolution quantified as ν n ≡ dln */dln (1 + z) and the velocity dispersion evolution νσ ≡ dln σ*/dln (1 + z) are constrained to ν n = 1.06+1.36 –1.39(stat.)+0.33 –0.64(syst.) and νσ = –0.05+0.19 –0.16(stat.)+0.03 –0.03(syst.), respectively, when the SQLS result is combined with BAO and WMAP for flat models with a cosmological constant. We find that a significant amount of dark energy is preferred even after fully marginalizing over the galaxy evolution parameters. Thus, the statistics of lensed quasars robustly confirm the accelerated cosmic expansion.
    The Astronomical Journal 04/2012; 143(5):120. DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/143/5/120 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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