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Title: Weak Lensing by Galaxy Clusters: from Pixels to Cosmology

The story of the origin and evolution of our Universe is told, equivalently, by space-time itself and by the structures that grow inside of it. Clusters of galaxies are the frontier of bottom-up structure formation. They are the most massive objects to have collapsed at the present epoch. By that virtue, their abundance and structural parameters are highly sensitive to the composition and evolution of the Universe. The most common probe of cluster cosmology, abundance, uses samples of clusters selected by some observable. Applying a mass-observable relation (MOR), cosmological parameters can be constrained by comparing the sample to predicted cluster abundances as a function of observable and redshift. Arguably, however, cluster probes have not yet entered the era of per cent level precision cosmology. The primary reason for this is our imperfect understanding of the MORs. The overall normalization, the slope of mass vs. observable, the redshift evolution, and the degree and correlation of intrinsic scatters of observables at fixed mass have to be constrained for interpreting abundances correctly. Mass measurement of clusters by means of the differential deflection of light from background sources in their gravitational field, i.e. weak lensing, is a powerful approach for achieving this. This thesismore » presents new methods for and scientific results of weak lensing measurements of clusters of galaxies. The former include, on the data reduction side, (i) the correction of CCD images for non-linear effects due to the electric fields of accumulated charges and (ii) a method for masking artifact features in sets of overlapping images of the sky by comparison to the median image. Also, (iii) I develop a method for the selection of background galaxy samples based on their color and apparent magnitude that includes a new correction for contamination with cluster member galaxies. The main scientific results are the following. (i) For the Hubble Frontier Field cluster RXC J2248.7--4431 our lensing analysis constrains mass and concentration of the cluster halo and we confirm the large mass predicted by X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) observations. The study of cluster members shows the relation of galaxy morphology to luminosity and environment. (ii) Our lensing mass measurements for 12 clusters are consistent with X-ray masses derived under the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium of the intra-cluster gas. We confirm the MORs derived by the South Pole Telescope collaboration for the detection significance of the cluster SZ signal in their survey. We find discrepancies, however, with the Planck SZ MOR. We hypothesize that these are related either to a shallower slope of the MOR or a size-, redshift- or noise-dependent bias in SZ signal extraction. (iii) Finally, using a combination of simulations and theoretical models for the variation of cluster profiles at fixed mass, we find that the latter is a significant contribution to the uncertainty of cluster lensing mass measurements. A cosmic variance model, such as the one we develop, is necessary for MOR constraints to be accurate at the level required for future surveys.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Ludwig Maximilian Univ., Munich (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1221338
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-THESIS--2015-13
TRN: US1601311
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
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
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; MASS; ABUNDANCE; GALAXY CLUSTERS; X RADIATION; GRAVITATIONAL LENSES; RED SHIFT; VISIBLE RADIATION; COLOR; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; IMAGES; LUMINOSITY; CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES; CORRECTIONS; SIGNALS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; GRAVITATIONAL FIELDS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; ACCURACY; CORRELATIONS; MORPHOLOGY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; VARIATIONS