Clusters of galaxies are a unique cosmological probe. Beyond the potential wells of individual clusters the vast filamentary cosmic web which binds them together contains two thirds of the baryonic matter in the Universe and represents a rich scientific resource. In order to use such resources correctly it is essential to understand the energetics, dynamics and redshift dependence of the intra/inter-cluster media. Absolutely fundamental to this understanding is a detailed knowledge of the strength, morphology and evolution of their magnetic fields. In addition, using clusters of galaxies and cosmic large scale structure as a laboratory in which to probe these fields is also the key to unlocking the more fundamental long standing problems of magnetic evolution and structure, and ultimately to determining the very origins of cosmic magnetism itself. To tackle these fundamental questions I will use a combination of two different observational approaches, effectively unifying the radio spectrum from meter to millimeter wavelengths: Rotation Measure Synthesis and the resolved Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect. Individually these approaches both offer unique insights; combined they provide an almost complete picture of the internal baryonic dynamics of clusters and large scale structure. I will use a set of leading and next generation radio telescopes around the globe. These telescopes span the radio spectrum, but are united by my leading role in the magnetism and/or cluster science case for each one. I will build an infrastructure which combines their operations to achieve a scientific outcome much greater than the individual instruments can produce independently. This will include development of world leading image reconstruction techniques; novel approaches to data combining; and state of the art analysis methods - as well as building a program which integrate disparate communities in astronomy. This program is called LODESTONE, to reflect the aligning nature of magnetism.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/observational astronomy/radio astronomy
Call for proposal
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