Published in Physics Reports, Volume 372, Issue 1, p. 1-129, 2002.


Asantha Cooray

Theoretical Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA 91125

Ravi Sheth

Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Theoretical Astrophysics Group, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia IL 60637 USA

Abstract: We review the formalism and applications of the halo-based description of nonlinear gravitational clustering. In this approach, all mass is associated with virialized dark matter halos; models of the number and spatial distribution of the halos, and the distribution of dark matter within each halo, are used to provide estimates of how the statistical properties of large scale density and velocity fields evolve as a result of nonlinear gravitational clustering. We first describe the model, and demonstrate its accuracy by comparing its predictions with exact results from numerical simulations of nonlinear gravitational clustering. We then present several astrophysical applications of the halo model: these include models of the spatial distribution of galaxies, the nonlinear velocity, momentum and pressure fields, descriptions of weak gravitational lensing, and estimates of secondary contributions to temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background.

The paper is in pdf format.