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We present Particle-Based Lensing (PBL), a new technique for gravitational lensing mass reconstructions of galaxy clusters. Traditionally, most methods have employed either a finite inversion or gridding to turn observational lensed galaxy ellipticities into an estimate of the surface mass density of a galaxy cluster. We approach the problem from a different perspective, motivated by the success of multi-scale analysis in smoothed particle hydrodynamics. In PBL, we treat each of the lensed galaxies as a particle and then reconstruct the potential by smoothing over a local kernel with variable smoothing scale. In this way, we can tune a reconstruction to produce constant signal-noise throughout, and maximally exploit regions of high information density.
PBL is designed to include all lensing observables, including multiple image positions and fluxes from strong lensing, as well as weak lensing signals including shear and flexion. In this paper, however, we describe a shear-only reconstruction, and apply the method to several test cases, including simulated lensing clusters, as well as the well-studied ``Bullet Cluster'' (1E0657-56). In the former cases, we show that PBL is better able to identify cusps and substructures than are grid-based reconstructions, and in the latter case, we show that PBL is able to identify substructure in the Bullet Cluster without even exploiting strong lensing measurements.
Gravitational flexion is a technique for measuring 2nd order gravitational lensing signals in background galaxies and radio lobes. Unlike shear, flexion directly probes variations of the potential field. Moreover, the information contained in flexion is orthogonal to what is found in the shear. Thus, we get the information "for free."
BASIN (Beowulf Analysis Symbolic INterface) is a flexible, integrated suite of tools for multiuser parallel data analysis and visualization that allows researchers to harness the power of Beowulf PC clusters and multi-processor machines without necessarily being experts in parallel programming. It also includes general tools for data distribution and parallel operations on distributed data for developing libraries for specific tasks.