The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and cosmology

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The largest clusters of galaxies are made up of thousands of individual galaxies, and are the most massive gravitationally-bound objects in the Universe. The mass that binds the clusters together is principally provided by dark matter, but a significant component, and the dominant component of 'ordinary matter' is in hot gas which is bound to the cluster by the gravitational field. The hot gas is most easily seen through its X-ray emission, which is mapped by satellite observatories such as Chandra and XMM-Newton, but can also be detected by its effect on radio waves passing through the cluster. Collisions between electrons in the cluster gas and photons in the radiation field heat up the photons, and cause the intensity of radio waves seen through the cluster to appear different from radio waves that are seen in other directions. This effect, the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, can be seen by looking at the almost-uniform cosmic microwave background radiation, which is the left-over thermal radiation from an early, hot, phase of the Universe and has almost the same brightness in all directions on the sky, except where the radiation comes through clusters of galaxies. The purpose of this research programme is to measure the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects of a large number of clusters of galaxies, and to use the measurements to study the structures of the atmospheres of the clusters. Comparisons of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects and the X-rays from clusters can tell us about the ratio of hot gas to dark matter that they contain. If this ratio changes with redshift, then we learn something about how clusters of galaxies form. A different comparison of Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and X-ray data can be used to measure the distances of clusters of galaxies. This is interesting because the way that distance changes with redshift (which measures the amount that the Universe has expanded) can tell us what the Universe as a whole is made of - and can test some ideas about the mysterious 'dark energy' that is thought to be responsible for the current accelerated expansion of the Universe.

Publications

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AMI Consortium AMI (2012) A blind detection of a large, complex, Sunyaev-Zel'dovich structure in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Bagliani, D (2009) Spectroscopic Active Galaxies and Clusters Explorer in LOW TEMPERATURE DETECTORS LTD 13

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Barcons, X (2007) XMM-Newton serendipitous survey IV in VizieR on-line data catalog

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Bergé J (2008) Combined analysis of weak lensing and X-ray blind surveys in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Dulwich F (2010) Erratum: The structure of the jet in 3C 15 from multiband polarimetry in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Description This grant helped develop methods for extracting measurements of faint continuum signals from a new multi-beam receiver mounted at the 32-m telescope at the Torun observatory, and from the platform-mounted AMiBA telescope on Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The signals extracted from those telescopes in our observations (made in collaboration with the owners of the observatories, and so training staff in Taipei and Torun) were used to measure the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects from clusters of galaxies. The faint radio "shadows" can be used to measure the amount of energy contained in the gas held within the clusters, and hence to investigate how clusters of galaxies form, and to measure cosmological parameters that determine how the Universe evolves and what the Universe contains.
Exploitation Route Further X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich measurements of these clusters can be used to improve our measurements of cosmological parameters, and to calibrate the scaling relations used to connect cosmological modelling to cluster observations. Gravitational lens measurements provide a way of testing our mass measurements, or measuring the 3-D properties of the clusters.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Other

 
Description Decision making for Heveliusz radio telescope.
Sector Education,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Operating grant (Poland)
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Committee for Scientific Research - Poland 
Sector Public
Country Poland
Start 09/2007 
End 08/2011
 
Description AMiBA collaboration 
Organisation Academia Sinica
Department Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Country Taiwan, Province of China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Diagnosis of issues in the design of AMiBA, suggestions for solutions, close collaboration on data analysis, co-authorship of papers (including much revision of English), design of some observing campaigns.
Collaborator Contribution Access to AMiBA, access to Subaru, travel and subsistence expenses in Hilo and Taipei.
Impact Multiple publications; large number of PhD students in Taipei trained on project.
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation California Institute of Technology
Department Caltech Astronomy
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Cardiff University
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Durham University
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Astrophysics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Joint Astronomy Centre
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Leiden University
Department Leiden Observatory
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation McGill University
Department Department of Physics
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Open University
Department School of Physical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation Queen's University Belfast
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University College London
Department Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of British Columbia
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Institute of Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Institute for Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Groningen
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Leicester
Department Department of Physics & Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Department School of Physics and Astronomy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Sussex
Department Astronomy Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description H-ATLAS 
Organisation University of Toronto
Department Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; follow-up observing and interpretation; paper editing.
Collaborator Contribution Primary observing set-up; data analysis; science analysis; catalogue and image preparation; paper writing and editing.
Impact Many papers; those in which we had a substantive role are given in the publications section.
Start Year 2008
 
Description OCRA collaboration 
Organisation Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun
Department Torun Observatory
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of data and diagnosis of issues with operation of telescope and receiver; assistance with proposals for funding in Poland, including for new 90-m telescope; interpretation of Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect data; interpretation of X-ray data; paper authorships.
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration, construction of OCRA receivers
Impact Multiple papers (see publication list). Experience in operating receivers of Planck style. Experience with snags arising from MMIC technology.
 
Description OCRA collaboration 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Physics and Astronomy Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Analysis of data and diagnosis of issues with operation of telescope and receiver; assistance with proposals for funding in Poland, including for new 90-m telescope; interpretation of Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect data; interpretation of X-ray data; paper authorships.
Collaborator Contribution Scientific collaboration, construction of OCRA receivers
Impact Multiple papers (see publication list). Experience in operating receivers of Planck style. Experience with snags arising from MMIC technology.
 
Description S2CLS 
Organisation McGill University
Department Department of Physics
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Science analysis; proposal writing and editing; observing
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and catalogue creation; observing set-up and observing; science analysis; proposal writing
Impact Main outputs in which we will be co-authors not yet generated.
Start Year 2009
 
Description XMM-LSS collaboration 
Organisation Saclay Nuclear Research Centre
Department Service d'Astrophysique
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-authored multiple papers and proposals; performed first SZ observations of sample clusters.
Collaborator Contribution Access to XMM-LSS datasets, pipeline analysis of datasets that allowed sekection of high-redshift clusters for follow-up research.
Impact Multiple publications on cosmology and astrophysics; development of concept for future surveys.
 
Description Public lectures and science cafes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Multiple public talks to astronomy societies and other organisations, also Science Cafes and other groups (e.g., Anglo-Polish society).

Activities tended to go on to time limit because of question-and-answer sessions, and have generated eMail questions after the fact from attendees. Continued requests for talks and other contacts based on experiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Radio interview (BBC Radio Bristol; BBC Radio 4; BBC Radio Scotland) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Contacts from regional amateur astronomers, and astronomical societies.

Talks to local societies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description Researcher in residence (local schools) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Classes of students from primary to sixth-form level were given presentations about astrophysics and cosmology, including the results from this work, with question-and-answer feedback.

Multiple requests for repeat. Contacts requesting placements in Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010