Finding Clusters of Galaxies Using the South Pole Telescope

Thursday, March 13th, 2008
Speaker: Bradford Benson UC Berkeley

The South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a 10 meter diameter millimeter wavelength telescope located at the South Pole. It's primary science project is to conduct a 4000 square degree survey to find clusters of galaxies via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect, the inverse Compton scattering of the CMB off of hot intra-cluster gas. An SZ survey of this size should find several thousand galaxy clusters, which can in principle place interesting constraints on the dark energy density and equation of state, as well as produce a host of other secondary science results (e.g. - measurements of small scale primary and other secondary CMB anisotropies, gravitational lensing of the CMB, point source catalogs at millimeter wavelengths, ...). To achieve this required over an order of magnitude increase in mapping speed over previous generation millimeter wavelength receivers, and was accomplished with the development of a 960 element large format bolometer array. I will discuss the design and construction of the SPT receiver, SPT's current project status, which recently began its second year of observations, and future plans for the SPT.

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Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin Hall
Time:
4:00 pm

 

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