A galaxy-halo model for multi-tracer surveys
Cosmic variance puts hard limits on what we can learn about fundamental physical processes on the largest cosmological scales. A neat trick allows this limit to be circumvented in some cases though, by cross-correlating multiple tracers of the cosmic matter distribution. Making this work requires some prior knowledge of how the signals cluster relative to one another. After giving a few examples of where the multi-tracer technique can be useful, I will outline a new analytic statistical model to describe how the galaxies seen in different surveys (and at different wavelengths) jointly populate the dark matter halo distribution. While the model is necessarily simplified, its flexibility and analytic nature allow rapid exploration of the parameter space relevant to forthcoming surveys in the optical, IR, microwave, and radio. I will show the results of an MCMC fit to low-redshift multi-frequency (radio and optical) luminosity function data, and then discuss several successful (and not-so-successful) consistency tests of the model.