Large Suite of Dark Matter Simulations (LasDamas) is a project to run a large suite of cosmological N-body simulations that follow the evolution of dark matter in the universe. The focus is to obtain adequate resolution in many large boxes, rather than a single realization at high resolution. This will result in an enormous volume appropriate for statistical studies of galaxies and halos.

Galaxy Mock Catalogs

The LasDamas simulations are designed to model the clustering of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) galaxies in a wide luminosity range, with the goal of assisting in the modeling of galaxy clustering measurements. Specifically, the simulations are used to construct detailed mock galaxy catalogs by placing artificial galaxies inside dark matter halos using an HOD with parameters fit from the respective SDSS galaxy samples.

The large number of resulting mock catalogs will allow us to:

  1. estimate statistical errors and covariances in measurements of galaxy clustering
  2. quantify systematic uncertainties in these measurements
  3. test and refine the theoretical models that are used interpret the data

The SDSS galaxy mock catalogs are publicly available — see Mocks for details.

Halo Properties

In addition to enabling the analysis of SDSS data, the unprecedented statistical power of the LasDamas simulations will also be useful for a number of theoretical investigations of dark matter halo properties. We plan to study the clustering of halos as a function of mass and other properties, the internal density and velocity profiles of halos, their three-dimensional shapes, and their mass-accretion and merger histories. Quantifying these properties and their correlations with each other at high signal-to-noise will help improve halo models and will be invaluable for helping to understand the physics of galaxy formation.