Thursday, August 1, 2013

1307.8152 (S. W. Allen et al.)

Measuring cosmic distances with galaxy clusters    [PDF]

S. W. Allen, A. B. Mantz, R. G. Morris, D. E. Applegate, P. L. Kelly, A. von der Linden, D. A. Rapetti, R. W. Schmidt
In addition to cosmological tests based on the mass function and clustering of galaxy clusters, which probe the growth of cosmic structure, nature offers two independent ways of using clusters to measure cosmic distances. The first uses measurements of the X-ray emitting gas mass fraction, which is an approximately standard quantity, independent of mass and redshift, for the most massive clusters. The second uses combined millimeter (mm) and X-ray measurements of cluster pressure profiles. We review these methods, their current status and the prospects for improvements over the next decade. For the first technique, which currently provides comparable dark energy constraints to type Ia supernova studies, improvements of a factor of 6 or more should be readily achievable, together with tight constraints on the mean matter density that are largely independent of the cosmological model assumed. Realizing this potential will require a coordinated, multiwavelength approach, utilizing new cluster surveys, X-ray, optical and mm facilities, and a continued emphasis on improved hydrodynamical simulations.
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