AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 108 Early Stars and Clusters
Invited, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 3:40-5:10pm, Centennial I/II

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[108.02] The Galaxy-Intracluster Medium Connection

M. E. Donahue (Michigan State University)

Clusters of galaxies occupy a unique position in our picture of large scale structure. As the largest dynamically relaxed systems, their properties are determined mainly by their enormous potential wells, making them useful probes of cosmological structure formation. Because its potential well is so deep, a cluster is also a ``closed box'', retaining all the thermal energy and chemical elements produced by the formation of its galaxies. I will discuss how the process of galaxy formation affects the intracluster medium (ICM), including new results from Chandra X-ray imaging. I will pay particular attention to the curious lack of cooling gas in the centers of clusters with short cooling times in their ICM, a puzzle whose solution may involve some combination of AGN, conduction, and supernovae processes. Finally, I will explain why understanding the physics of the ICM is critical for doing precision cosmology with clusters, and I will outline the theoretical and observational investigations required to take cluster cosmology to the next level.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.