Dissecting the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich-gravitational lensing cross-correlation with hydrodynamical simulations
We use the cosmo-OWLS suite of cosmological hydrodynamical simulations, which includes different galactic feedback models, to predict the cross-correlation signal between weak gravitational lensing and the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich (tSZ) y-parameter. The predictions are compared to the recent detection reported by van Waerbeke and collaborators. The simulations reproduce the weak lensing-tSZ cross-correlation, ξyκ(θ), well. The uncertainty arising from different possible feedback models appears to be important on small scales only (0θ lesssim 1 arcmin), while the amplitude of the correlation on all scales is sensitive to cosmological parameters that control the growth rate of structure (such as σ8, Ωm and Ωb). This study confirms our previous claim (in Ma et al.) that a significant proportion of the signal originates from the diffuse gas component in low-mass (Mhalo lesssim 1014 Msolar) clusters as well as from the region beyond the virial radius. We estimate that approximately 20% of the detected signal comes from low-mass clusters, which corresponds to about 30% of the baryon density of the Universe. The simulations also suggest that more than half of the baryons in the Universe are in the form of diffuse gas outside halos (gtrsim 5 times the virial radius) which is not hot or dense enough to produce a significant tSZ signal or be observed by X-ray experiments. Finally, we show that future high-resolution tSZ-lensing cross-correlation observations will serve as a powerful tool for discriminating between different galactic feedback models.