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Title: Constraints on Cosmology and the Physics of the Intracluster Medium from Secondary Anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background
Authors: Hill, James Colin
Advisors: Spergel, David N
Contributors: Astrophysical Sciences Department
Keywords: Cosmic microwave background
Galaxy clusters
Large-scale structure
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect
Subjects: Astrophysics
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis presents a number of new statistical approaches to constrain cosmology and the physics of the intracluster medium (ICM) using measurements of secondary anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the remnant thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang that still permeates the universe today. In particular, I consider the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (tSZ) effect, in which the hot, ionized gas in massive galaxy clusters casts a ``shadow'' against the CMB, and gravitational lensing of the CMB, in which the gravity of intervening structures bends the path of CMB photons as they travel to us from the early universe. I use data from the Planck satellite to obtain the first detection of the tSZ -- CMB lensing cross-power spectrum, a signal which is sensitive to a previously unstudied population of high-redshift, low-mass groups and clusters. I combine this measurement with Planck measurements of the tSZ power spectrum to obtain cosmological and astrophysical constraints, and also investigate the ability of future tSZ power spectrum measurements to constrain primordial non-Gaussianity and the sum of the neutrino masses. In addition to these power spectrum measurements, I also present new techniques to obtain cosmological and astrophysical constraints from non-Gaussian statistics of the tSZ signal, starting with the tSZ skewness and proceeding to consider the entire one-point PDF of the tSZ field. I apply these methods to data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, yielding some of the tightest constraints yet achieved on the amplitude of cosmic matter density fluctuations. Moreover, these methods allow the long-standing degeneracy between cosmology and ICM physics to be directly broken with tSZ data alone for the first time.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Astrophysical Sciences

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