Quantifying Filamentary Structure in the Universe

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Session 13 -- Large Scale Structure
Oral presentation, Monday, 10:30-12:00, Zellerbach Playhouse Room

[13.04] Quantifying Filamentary Structure in the Universe

S.P.Bhavsar (U.Kentucky and UVa), W.C.Saslaw (UVa,NRAO,IoA)

Although filamentary structure is often present in the galaxy distribution, it is not clear whether gravitational clustering alone can produce it, or whether special initial conditions and non-gravitational physics are required. A visual examination of galaxy distributions, in both observations and numerical simulations, indicates that filaments tend to surround underdense regions. This tendency can be quantified using a filament finding algorithm such as the Minimal Spanning tree (MST). A heuristic approach connecting the size of a filament and its neighboring underdense region can be used to predict the distribution of filaments which result from gravitational clustering alone. For this purpose we use the gravitational quasi-equilibrium distribution theory to calculate probabilities for finding underdense regions. Numerical experiments confirm these calculations, and will be related to observations. SPB would like to acknowledge an SGER grant AST-9211435 from NSF; and VITA for its support and hospitality.

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