Voids in the SDSS: from demography to cosmology
April 15, 2013
Abstract: Cosmic voids are potentially a rich source of information for both astrophysics and cosmology. To enable such science, we produce the most comprehensive void catalog to date using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 main sample out to redshift z = 0.2 and the Luminous Red Galaxy sample out to z = 0.44. Using a modified version of the parameter-free void finder ZOBOV, we fully take into account the presence of survey boundary and masks. We discuss basic catalog statistics such as number counts and redshift distributions, as well as describe some example data products derived from our catalog, such as radial density profiles and projected density maps. Using this catalog, we report on the first application of the Alcock-Paczynski test to stacked voids in spectroscopic redshift surveys by applying the shape-fitting procedure presented in Lavaux & Wandelt (2011) to ten void stacks out to redshift z = 0.36. Our results are consistent with WMAP 7-year cosmological constraints. We compare our results to alternate methods of constructing void stacks and comment on future observational prospects.