Newtonian N-body simulations are compatible with cosmological perturbation theory
Contrary to recent claims in the literature, Newtonian N-body simulations of collisionless Dark Matter in a LambdaCDM background are compatible with general relativity and are not invalidated by general relativistic effects at the linear level. This verdict is based on four facts. (1) The system of linearized Einstein equations and conservation laws is well-posed in the gauge invariant formulation and physically meaningful. (2) Comparing general relativity with its Newtonian approximation at a given order in perturbation theory is only meaningful at the level of observables. (3) The dynamics of observables describing a dust fluid in general relativity and its Newtonian approximation agree at the linear level. Any disagreement for observables on the lightcone are well-known, of which the most dominant is gravitational lensing. (4) Large fluctuations in the Hubble parameter contribute significantly only to gravitational lensing effects. Therefore, these fluctuations are not in conflict with Newtonian N-body simulations beyond what has already been carefully taken into account using ray tracing technology.