Research objectives and content
The evolution of clusters of galaxies can place important constraints on current cosmological models. Recently, a number of galaxy clusters have been discovered at high redshift thanks to the rapid development of observational techniques. A systematic search and analysis of high-redshift clusters forms the subject of the proposed project. Wide-field images in several colours will be made and a catalogue of cluster candidates will be produced from these and archive optical and X-ray data. The cluster candidates will subsequently be observed at higher resolution using HST and the XMM satellite. Cluster masses will be determined using weak lensing statistics and X-ray temperature. Mass and luminosity functions will be determined. Also, the properties of the member galaxies will be analysed. The expected number density of high-redshifit dusters as seen on the sky will be determined theoretically in the framework of hierarchical clustering and by investigating numerical simulations of structure formation in conjunction with models of galaxy evolution. By comparing to the observational mass and luminosity functions the matter density in the Universe will be determined.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The project involves training concerning a large variety of astrophysical techniques: - observational techniques on large optical telescopes - analysis of optical and X-ray data - numerical cosmological simulations (Durham) - galaxy evolution models - development of computer code to simulate observations at different wavelengths using the above models
Links with industry I industrial relevance (22)