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Durham University

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Publication details for Mr Behzad Ansarinejad

Ansarinejad, Behzad & Shanks, Tom (2018). Detection significance of baryon acoustic oscillations peaks in galaxy and quasar clustering. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 479(3): 4091-4107.

Author(s) from Durham


We compare our analysis of the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) feature in the correlation functions of SDSS BOSS DR12 LOWZ and CMASS galaxy samples with previous literature results. Using subsets of the data we obtain an empirical estimate of the errors on the correlation functions that are in agreement with the simulated errors of previous works. We find that the significance of BAO detection is the quantity most sensitive to the choice of the fitting range with the CMASS value decreasing from 8.0σ to 5.3σ as the fitting range is reduced. Although our measurements of DV (z) are in agreement with previous studies, we note that their CMASS 8.0σ (LOWZ 4.0σ) detection significance reduces to 4.7σ (2.8σ) in fits with their diagonal covariance terms only. We extend our BAO analysis to higher redshifts by fitting to the weighted mean of 2QDESp, SDSS DR5 UNIFORM, 2QZ, and 2SLAQ quasar correlation functions, obtaining a 7.6 per cent measurement compared to 3.9 per cent achieved by eBOSS DR14. Unlike for the LRG surveys, the larger error on quasar correlation functions implies a smaller role for nuisance parameters (accounting for scale-dependent clustering) in providing a good fit to the fiducial Λ cold dark matter model. Again we find that the eBOSS peak significance reduces from 2.8 to 1.4σ if we ignore the off-diagonal covariance matrix terms in our fitting. We conclude that for both LRGs and quasars, the reported BAO peak significances from the SDSS surveys depend sensitively on the accuracy of the covariance matrix at large separations.