Morphology of Condensed Matter

Volume 600 of the series Lecture Notes in Physics pp 358-390


Mark Correlations: Relating Physical Properties to Spatial Distributions

  • Claus BeisbartAffiliated withNuclear & Astrophysics Laboratory, University of Oxford
  • , Martin KerscherAffiliated withSektion Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
  • , Klaus MeckeAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für MetallforschungInstitut für Theoretische und Angewandte Physik, Fakultät für Physik, Universität Stuttgart

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Mark correlations provide a systematic approach to look at objects both distributed in space and bearing intrinsic information, for instance on physical properties. The interplay of the objects’ properties (marks) with the spatial clustering is of vivid interest for many applications; are, e.g., galaxies with high luminosities more strongly clustered than dim ones? Do neighbored pores in a sandstone have similar sizes? How does the shape of impact craters on a planet depend on the geological surface properties? In this article, we give an introduction into the appropriate mathematical framework to deal with such questions, i.e. the theory of marked point processes. After having clarified the notion of segregation effects, we define universal test quantities applicable to realizations of a marked point processes. We show their power using concrete data sets in analyzing the luminosity-dependence of the galaxy clustering, the alignment of dark matter halos in gravitational N-body simulations, the morphology- and diameter-dependence of the Martian crater distribution and the size correlations of pores in sandstone. In order to understand our data in more detail, we discuss the Boolean depletion model, the random field model and the Cox random field model. The first model describes depletion effects in the distribution of Martian craters and pores in sandstone, whereas the last one accounts at least qualitatively for the observed luminosity-dependence of the galaxy clustering.