AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 58. The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect: Latest Results and Future Prospects
Topical, Oral, Tuesday, June 1, 1999, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, Continental Ballroom B

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[58.01] Probing the High Redshift Universe with Interferometric Observations of the Sunyaev Zel'dovich Effect

J. E. Carlstrom, J. J. Mohr, E. D. Reese, G. P. Holder, E. M. Leitch (U.Chicago), M. K. Joy (NASA/MSFC), L. Grego (CfA), S. Patel (U.Alabama), W. L. Holzapfel (U.C.Berkeley)

The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect is a spectral distortion of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation resulting from inverse-Compton scattering of the photons as they pass through the hot gas contained in rich galaxy clusters. The observed magnitude of the effect depends on the properties of the cluster gas, but is independent of the distance to the cluster. This unique feature means that a sensitive, large scale survey of the SZ effect would provide a powerful probe of the high redshift universe.

At cm wavelengths the SZ spectral distortion produces a small decrement (~1~mK) as the CMB photons are scattered preferentially to higher energies. Our group has used sensitive cm-wave receivers mounted on the OVRO and BIMA mm-wave arrays to produce high quality images of the effect toward more than 25 clusters spanning redshifts from 0.1 to 0.8. The resulting SZ effect data have been used to make independent estimates of the distances and of the baryonic mass fractions of the clusters, leading to constraints on the Hubble constant and the matter density of the universe \OmegaM, respectively.

This talk will focus on the ability of a sensitive survey for the SZ effect covering several square degrees of sky to provide information on the evolution of large scale structure and the cosmological parameters which describe our universe, by providing a complete, redshift-independent inventory of galaxy clusters. As a specific example, the expected results for a survey enabled by planned enhancements to our cm-wave interferometric system will be discussed.

If the author provided an email address or URL for general inquiries, it is a s follows:

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