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Duke Physics Colloquium: Weighing Galaxy Clusters with Weak Lensing

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Friday, February 16, 2018
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4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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Elinor Medezinski (Princeton)
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Duke Physics Colloquium

"Weighing Galaxy Clusters with Weak Lensing" - The most fundamental question in observational cosmology today is what is the nature of dark energy and dark matter. As the most massive gravitationally bound bodies in the Universe, clusters of galaxies serve as beacons to the growth of structure over cosmic scales, making them a sensitive cosmological tool. However, accurately measuring their masses has been notoriously difficult. Weak lensing provides the best direct probe of the cluster mass, both the baryonic and dark components, but it requires high-quality wide-field imaging. With its unprecedentedly deep and exquisite seeing, the Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) survey is an ongoing campaign to observe 1,400 square degrees. In this talk, I will present our new field-leading results from the first HSC data release of ~150 square degrees that encompasses thousands of clusters. Harnessing our new HSC survey, I measure benchmark weak lensing cluster masses, and reconcile previous tension on cosmological parameters found within the Planck survey. The next generation of wide-field surveys is almost upon us, with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), WFIRST and several more coming online. They will discover hundreds of thousands of galaxy clusters, peering deep to the epoch of formation. I will describe these exciting new surveys and the multifold breakthrough science we will achieve in the new era of astronomy.| Refreshments will be served before the event in room 128.

Contact: Cristin Paul