UMD ASTR 680 - Clusters: Context and Background (5 pages)

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Clusters: Context and Background



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Clusters: Context and Background

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Pages:
5
School:
University of Maryland, College Park
Course:
Astr 680 - High Energy Astrophysics

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Clusters Context and Background We re about to embark on a subject rather different from what we ve treated before so it is useful to step back and think again about what we want to accomplish in this course We have been accumulating a set of tools with which we can approach problems in high energy astrophysics For a given situation we should be able to ask some fundamental questions about the reliability of the answers For example if we read a paper about black holes we should ask will general relativity be important If so do the authors apply it correctly Ask class what are a couple of questions one might similarly ask about neutron stars For neutron stars we can also ask about GR and also ask whether strong magnetic fields may play a role This means that if we see a paper about merging neutron stars that treats gravity in the Newtonian limit we should be suspicious about the results Development of physical insight is improved if we consider a variety of physical regimes In this course we ve thought about extremely high densities and strong magnetic fields which are not in the normal run of environments considered even in astrophysics In the same spirit of broadening our exposure to different regimes we will consider in the next three lectures a very different environment yet one that also has been illuminated greatly by high energy observations This is the subject of clusters of galaxies Clusters have great importance in a variety of contexts but especially as probes of cosmology and of the formation of the first structure in the universe This will therefore bring in many topics and questions that we have not yet considered In this lecture we ll think primarily about context in the next lecture we ll talk about the observational properties and what they imply and in the third lecture we ll talk in detail about the Sunyaev Zeldovich effect which is a growth field that has many cosmological applications Quick review of properties Before heading into the context



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