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The South Pole Telescope

Description: A new 10 meter diameter telescope is being constructed for deployment at the NSF South Pole research station. The telescope is designed for conducting large-area millimeter and sub-millimeter wave surveys of faint, low contrast emission, as required to map primary and secondary anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. To achieve the required sensitivity and resolution, the telescope design employs an off-axis primary with a 10 m diameter clear aperture. The full aperture and the associated optics will have a combined surface accuracy of better than 20 microns rms to allow precision operation in the submillimeter atmospheric windows. The telescope will be surrounded with a large reflecting ground screen to reduce sensitivity to thermal emission from the ground and local interference. The optics of the telescope will support a square degree field of view at 2mm wavelength and will feed a new 1000-element micro-lithographed planar bolometric array with superconducting transition-edge sensors and frequency-multiplexed readouts. The first key project will be to conduct a survey over 4000 degrees for galaxy clusters using the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect. This survey should find many thousands of clusters with a mass selection criteria that is remarkably uniform with redshift. Armed with redshifts obtained from optical and infrared follow-up observations, it is expected that the survey will enable significant constraints to be placed on the equation of state of the dark energy.
Date: November 4, 2004
Creator: Ruhl, J.E.; Ade, P.A.R.; Carlstrom, J.E.; Cho, H.M.; Crawford,T.; Dobbs, M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sunyaev-Zel'Dovich effect observations of the bullet cluster (1E 0657-56) with APEX-SZ

Description: We present observations of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) in the Bullet cluster (1E 0657-56) using the APEX-SZ instrument at 150 GHz with a resolution of 1'. The main results are maps of the SZE in this massive, merging galaxy cluster. The cluster is detected with 23 sigma significance within the central 1' radius of the source position. The SZE map has a broadly similar morphology to that in existing X-ray maps of this system, and we find no evidence for significant contamination of the SZE emission by radio or IR sources. In order to make simple quantitative comparisons with cluster gas models derived from X-ray observations, we fit our data to an isothermal elliptical beta model, despite the inadequacy of such a model for this complex merging system. With an X-ray derived prior on the power-law index, beta = 1.04+0.16-0.10, we find a core radius rc = 142" +- 18", an axial ratio of 0.889 +- 0.072, and a central temperature decrement of -771 +- 71 muKCMB, including a +-5.5percent flux calibration uncertainty. Combining the APEX-SZ map with a map of projected electron surface density from Chandra X-ray observations, we determine the mass-weighted temperature of the cluster gas to be Tmg = 10.8 +- 0.9 keV, significantly lower than some previously reported X-ray spectroscopic temperatures. Under the assumption of an isothermal cluster gas distribution in hydrostatic equilibrium, we compute the gas mass fraction for prolate and oblate spheroidal geometries and find it to be consistent with previous results from X-ray and weak-lensing observations. This work is the first result from the APEX-SZ experiment and represents the first reported scientific result from observations with a large array of multiplexed superconducting transition-edge sensor bolometers.
Date: July 25, 2008
Creator: Halverson, N.W.; Lanting, T.; Ade, P.A.R.; Basu, K.; Bender, A.N.; Benson, B.A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department