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 improving our understanding of the evolution of the largest structures in the universe substantially.
Planck, the satellite mission to study the cosmic microwave background, has provided the first sub-mm survey of the whole sky, and selected the most massive galaxy clusters via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, as well as discovered thousands of sub-mm sources, many of them dust rich galaxies at high redshifts. Ground-based telescopes, such as APEX and ALMA, can observe these sources with higher sensitivity and resolution for detailed studies. There is a 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. Studies of the Planck data set with optical and sub-mm follow-up observations give new insights 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 galaxy clusters and their evolution is highly important for their use as tools for precision cosmology.
The project can involve participation in analysis of Planck data products, observations with telescopes in Chile, and interpretation in the context of models.