Studying the Cosmological Evolution of Galaxy Clusters with (Sub-)mm Observations
Thesis Supervisor: Ruediger Kneissl
Observational data from new instruments in the millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelength range, such as Planck and ALMA, are expected to improve our understanding of the evolution of the largest structures in the universe substantially.
Planck, the satellite mission to study the cosmic microwave background, will provide the first sub-mm survey of the whole sky, and inevitably select the most massive galaxy clusters via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, as well as discover many thousands of dust rich galaxies at high redshifts. The ground-based telescopes APEX and ALMA can observe these sources with higher sensitivity and resolution for detailed studies. There is a suspected link between overdensities in the strongly correlated component of the high-z, sub-mm sources and massive clusters, in that the former are associated with the progenitors of the later. Therefore a number of studies are possible with the Planck data set and sub-mm follow-up observations to learn about the early assembly of the first clusters, and the later evolution of their gas content as well as of their population of star-forming galaxies. Understanding the evolution of galaxy clusters is highly important for their use as tools for precision cosmology.
The project will involve participation in some analysis work of Planck data products within the working groups, observations with ESO telescopes in Chile, and interpretation in the context of models.