October 16, 1997 CfA Colloquium

Title: Interferometric Imaging of the Sunyaev Zeldovich Effect

Speaker: John Carlstrom, U. Chicago

Abstract: The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect is a spectral distortion of the cosmic background radiation resulting from inverse-Compton scattering of the microwave photons as they pass through the hot x-ray emitting gas found in the extended atmospheres of clusters of galaxies. The combination of radio measurements of the effect and x-ray measurements of the hot gas offers a potentially powerful probe of the cosmic distance scale and other cosmological parameters. The radio measurements have proven to be difficult, requiring high sensitivity and extensive attention to sources of systematic error. Using interferometric techniques we are able to avoid most sources of systematic error and produce high signal to noise images of the effect. Following a brief introduction to the effect, I will review our experimental method and then present our data and preliminary results. Lastly a short description of an interferometric system (the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer, DASI) dedicated to measuring intermediate scale anisotropy in the Cosmic Microwave Background will be discussed.

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