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LODESTONE: Unifying the Radio Spectrum to Map the Magnetic Universe

Objective

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

ERC-2012-StG_20111012
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 981 005,47
Principal investigator
Anna Scaife (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Liz Fay (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (3)

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 981 005,47
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Anna Scaife (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Liz Fay (Ms.)
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 508 883,39
Address
Highfield
SO17 1BJ Southampton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Yan Qiao (Mrs.)
THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 438 479,94
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)