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Y.-T. Lin (University of illinois)
Within the context of precision cosmology, the systematics of a cluster survey must be carefully controlled. These require knowledge of the cluster selection function, the sources of contamination, and the evolution of clusters. For surveys aiming to study the dark energy, probing the redshift range z = 1-2 is essential. This can be most efficiently carried out by a Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) survey supplemented with near-IR follow-up. The cluster sample with SZE+near-IR data will also provide an excellent opportunity for understanding the cluster galaxy population evolution.
This dissertation is developed under the two themes central to such a survey, i.e.~the control of systematics, and the nature and evolution of cluster galaxy populations. We first conduct an analysis of a deep SZE survey and offer considerations for determining the survey mass sensitivity and for extracting cosmological constraints. Because the radio-loud AGNs can potentially contaminate the cluster SZE signal, we also investigate the properties of cluster AGNs to facilitate modeling their effects on the survey yields.
The second thrust of the dissertation is a systematic survey of the near-IR properties of cluster galaxies. With a large nearby cluster sample that spans a wide range in mass, we study scaling relations between the total galaxy luminosity or number and the cluster mass. The origins of such correlations are discussed in terms of the hierarchical structure formation, among other possibilities. We proceed to study the properties of various cluster components, including the brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs), and the stars and gas that exist within the intracluster space. Constraints on BCG formation and the thermodynamic history of the intracluster medium are presented. Finally, with deep near-IR imaging data, we examine the luminosity function for a smaller cluster sample that extends to z~1. We confirm the existence of the scaling relations and determine their evolution with redshift.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.