Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorMurray, Steven
dc.contributor.authorRobotham, A.
dc.contributor.authorPower, C.
dc.identifier.citationMurray, S. and Robotham, A. and Power, C. 2018. An Empirical Mass Function Distribution. Astrophysical Journal. 855 (1): Article No 5.

The halo mass function, encoding the comoving number density of dark matter halos of a given mass, plays a key role in understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. As such, it is a key goal of current and future deep optical surveys to constrain the mass function down to mass scales that typically host ${L}_{\star }$ galaxies. Motivated by the proven accuracy of Press–Schechter-type mass functions, we introduce a related but purely empirical form consistent with standard formulae to better than 4% in the medium-mass regime, ${10}^{10}\mbox{--}{10}^{13}\,{h}^{-1}M☉. In particular, our form consists of four parameters, each of which has a simple interpretation, and can be directly related to parameters of the galaxy distribution, such as ${L}_{\star }$. Using this form within a hierarchical Bayesian likelihood model, we show how individual mass-measurement errors can be successfully included in a typical analysis, while accounting for Eddington bias. We apply our form to a question of survey design in the context of a semi-realistic data model, illustrating how it can be used to obtain optimal balance between survey depth and angular coverage for constraints on mass function parameters. Open-source Python and R codes to apply our new form are provided at and respectively.

dc.publisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
dc.titleAn Empirical Mass Function Distribution
dc.typeJournal Article
dcterms.source.titleAstrophysical Journal

Copyright © 2018 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

curtin.departmentCurtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (Physics)
curtin.accessStatusOpen access

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record