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Title: Detecting Gravitational Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Galaxy Clusters

Clusters of galaxies gravitationally lens the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) leading to a distinct signal in the CMB on arcminute scales. Measurement of the cluster lensing effect offers the exciting possibility of constraining the masses of galaxy clusters using CMB data alone. Improved constraints on cluster masses are in turn essential to the use of clusters as cosmological probes: uncertainties in cluster masses are currently the dominant systematic affecting cluster abundance constraints on cosmology. To date, however, the CMB cluster lensing signal remains undetected because of its small magnitude and angular size. In this thesis, we develop a maximum likelihood approach to extracting the signal from CMB temperature data. We validate the technique by applying it to mock data designed to replicate as closely as possible real data from the South Pole Telescope’s (SPT) Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) survey: the effects of the SPT beam, transfer function, instrumental noise and cluster selection are incorporated. We consider the effects of foreground emission on the analysis and show that uncertainty in amount of foreground lensing results in a small systematic error on the lensing constraints. Additionally, we show that if unaccounted for, the SZ effect leads to unacceptably large biases on the lensing constraintsmore » and develop an approach for removing SZ contamination. The results of the mock analysis presented here suggest that a 4σ first detection of the cluster lensing effect can be achieved with current SPT-SZ data.« less
  1. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
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Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States