Baryon acoustic oscillations in the early Universe are predicted to leave an as yet undetected signature on the relative clustering of total mass versus luminous matter. A detection of this effect would provide an important confirmation of the standard cosmological paradigm and constrain alternatives to dark matter as well as nonstandard fluctuations such as compensated isocurvature perturbations (CIPs). We conduct the first observational search for this effect, by comparing the number-weighted and luminosity-weighted correlation functions, using the SDSS-III BOSS Data Release 10 CMASS sample. When including CIPs in our model, we formally obtain evidence at 3.2σ of the relative clustering signature and a limit that matches the existing upper limits on the amplitude of CIPs. However, various tests suggest that these results are not yet robust, perhaps due to systematic biases in the data. The method developed in this Letter used with more accurate future data such as that from DESI, is likely to confirm or disprove our preliminary evidence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas