Eric R. Switzer

NASA, Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States

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Publications (74)324.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We present the first application of a new foreground removal pipeline to the current leading HI intensity mapping dataset, obtained by the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). We study the 15hr and 1hr field data of the GBT observations previously presented in Masui et al. (2013) and Switzer et al. (2013) covering about 41 square degrees at 0.6 < z < 1.0 which overlaps with the WiggleZ galaxy survey employed for the cross-correlation with the maps. In the presented pipeline, we subtract the Galactic foreground continuum and the point source contaminations using an independent component analysis technique (fastica) and develop a description for a Fourier-based optimal weighting estimator to compute the temperature power spectrum of the intensity maps and cross-correlation with the galaxy survey data. We show that fastica is a reliable tool to subtract diffuse and point-source emission by using the non-Gaussian nature of their probability functions. The power spectra of the intensity maps and the cross-correlation with WiggleZ is typically an order of magnitude higher than the previous findings by the GBT team. fastica is a very conservative subtraction technique and is not able to remove anisotropic noise contaminations caused by instrumental systematics unlike the singular value decomposition method which does not discriminate components according to their statistical properties. We confirm that foreground subtraction with fastica is robust against 21cm signal loss as seen by the converged amplitude of the cross-correlation of the intensity maps with the WiggleZ data.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Polarimetric surveys of the microwave sky at large angular scales are crucial in testing cosmic inflation, as inflation predicts a divergence-free $B$-mode angular power spectrum that extends to the largest scales on the sky. A promising technique for realizing such large surveys is through the use of rapid polarization modulation to mitigate variations in the atmosphere, coupling to the environment, and drifts in instrumental response. VPMs change the state of polarization by introducing a controlled, adjustable delay between orthogonal linear polarizations resulting in transformations between linear and circular polarization states. VPMs are currently being implemented in experiments designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background on large angular scales because of their capability for providing rapid, front-end polarization modulation and control over systematic errors. Despite the advantages provided by the VPM, it is important to identify and mitigate any time-varying effects that leak into the synchronously modulated component of the signal.In this paper, we consider and address the emission from a 300 K VPM on the system performance. Though instrument alignment can greatly reduce the influence of modulated VPM emission, some residual modulated signal is expected. We consider VPM emission in the presence of system misalignments and temperature variation. We use simulations of TOD to evaluate the effect of these residual errors on the power spectrum. The analysis and modeling in this paper guides experimentalists on the critical aspects of observations using VPMs as front-end modulators. By implementing the characterizations and controls as described front-end VPM modulation can be very powerful. None of the systematic errors studied fundamentally limit the detection and characterization of B-modes on large scales for a tensor-to-scalar ratio of $r=0.01$.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We present a measurement of the gravitational lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature and polarization fields obtained by cross-correlating the reconstructed convergence signal from the first season of ACTPol data at 146 GHz with Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) fluctuations measured using the Planck satellite. Using an overlap area of 206 square degrees, we detect gravitational lensing of the CMB polarization by large-scale structure at a statistical significance of 4.5 sigma. Combining both CMB temperature and polarization data gives a lensing detection at 9.1 sigma significance. A B-mode polarization lensing signal is present with a significance of 3.2 sigma. We also present the first measurement of CMB lensing--CIB correlation at small scales corresponding to l > 2000. Null tests and systematic checks show that our results are not significantly biased by astrophysical or instrumental systematic effects, including Galactic dust. Fitting our measurements to the best-fit lensing-CIB cross power spectrum measured in Planck data, scaled by an amplitude A, gives A=1.02 +0.12/-0.18 (stat.) +/-0.06(syst.), consistent with the Planck results.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Intensity mapping experiments survey the spectrum of diffuse line radiation rather than detect individual objects at high signal-to-noise. Spectral maps of unresolved atomic and molecular line radiation contain three-dimensional information about the density and environments of emitting gas, and efficiently probe cosmological volumes out to high redshift. Intensity mapping survey volumes also contain all other sources of radiation at the frequencies of interest. Continuum foregrounds are typically ~10^2-10^3 times brighter than the cosmological signal. The instrumental response to bright foregrounds will produce new spectral degrees of freedom that are not known in advance, nor necessarily spectrally smooth. The intrinsic spectra of foregrounds may also not be well-known in advance. We describe a general class of quadratic estimators to analyze data from single-dish intensity mapping experiments, and determine contaminated spectral modes from the data itself. The key attribute of foregrounds is not that they are spectrally smooth, but instead that they have fewer bright spectral degrees of freedom than the cosmological signal. Spurious correlations between the signal and foregrounds produce additional bias. Compensation for signal attenuation must estimate and correct this bias. A successful intensity mapping experiment will control instrumental systematics that spread variance into new modes, and it must observe a large enough volume that contaminant modes can be determined independently from the signal on scales of interest.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We measure the cross-correlation of cosmic microwave background lensing convergence maps derived from Atacama Cosmology Telescope data with galaxy lensing convergence maps as measured by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Stripe 82 Survey. The CMB-galaxy lensing cross power spectrum is measured for the first time with a significance of 3.2{\sigma}, which corresponds to a 16% constraint on the amplitude of density fluctuations at redshifts ~ 0.9. With upcoming improved lensing data, this novel type of measurement will become a powerful cosmological probe, providing a precise measurement of the mass distribution at intermediate redshifts and serving as a calibrator for systematic biases in weak lensing measurements.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Physical Review D
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    ABSTRACT: The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) is a balloon-borne cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarimeter designed to search for evidence of inflation by measuring the large-angular scale CMB polarization signal. BICEP2 recently reported a detection of B-mode power corresponding to the tensor-to-scalar ratio r = 0.2 on ~2 degree scales. If the BICEP2 signal is caused by inflationary gravitational waves (IGWs), then there should be a corresponding increase in B-mode power on angular scales larger than 18 degrees. PIPER is currently the only suborbital instrument capable of fully testing and extending the BICEP2 results by measuring the B-mode power spectrum on angular scales $\theta$ = ~0.6 deg to 90 deg, covering both the reionization bump and recombination peak, with sensitivity to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio down to r = 0.007, and four frequency bands to distinguish foregrounds. PIPER will accomplish this by mapping 85% of the sky in four frequency bands (200, 270, 350, 600 GHz) over a series of 8 conventional balloon flights from the northern and southern hemispheres. The instrument has background-limited sensitivity provided by fully cryogenic (1.5 K) optics focusing the sky signal onto four 32x40-pixel arrays of time-domain multiplexed Transition-Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers held at 140 mK. Polarization sensitivity and systematic control are provided by front-end Variable-delay Polarization Modulators (VPMs), which rapidly modulate only the polarized sky signal at 3 Hz and allow PIPER to instantaneously measure the full Stokes vector (I, Q, U, V) for each pointing. We describe the PIPER instrument and progress towards its first flight.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Future arcminute resolution polarization data from ground-based Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) observations can be used to estimate the contribution to the temperature power spectrum from the primary anisotropies and to uncover the signature of reionization near $\ell=1500$ in the small angular-scale temperature measurements. Our projections are based on combining expected small-scale E-mode polarization measurements from Advanced ACTPol in the range $300<\ell<3000$ with simulated temperature data from the full Planck mission in the low and intermediate $\ell$ region, $2<\ell<2000$. We show that the six basic cosmological parameters determined from this combination of data will predict the underlying primordial temperature spectrum at high multipoles to better than $1\%$ accuracy. Assuming an efficient cleaning from multi-frequency channels of most foregrounds in the temperature data, we investigate the sensitivity to the only residual secondary component, the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (kSZ) term. The CMB polarization is used to break degeneracies between primordial and secondary terms present in temperature and, in effect, to remove from the temperature data all but the residual kSZ term. We estimate a $15 \sigma$ detection of the diffuse homogeneous kSZ signal from expected AdvACT temperature data at $\ell>1500$, leading to a measurement of the amplitude of matter density fluctuations, $\sigma_8$, at $1\%$ precision. Alternatively, by exploring the reionization signal encoded in the patchy kSZ measurements, we bound the time and duration of the reionization with $\sigma(z_{\rm re})=1.1$ and $\sigma(\Delta z_{\rm re})=0.2$. We find that these constraints degrade rapidly with large beam sizes, which highlights the importance of arcminute-scale resolution for future CMB surveys.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
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    ABSTRACT: We report on measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and celestial polarization at 146 GHz made with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) in its first three months of observing. Four regions of sky covering a total of 270 square degrees were mapped with an angular resolution of $1.3'$. The map noise levels in the four regions are between 11 and 17 $\mu$K-arcmin. We present TT, TE, EE, TB, EB, and BB power spectra from three of these regions. The observed E-mode polarization power spectrum, displaying six acoustic peaks in the range $200<\ell<3000$, is an excellent fit to the prediction of the best-fit cosmological models from WMAP9+ACT and Planck data. The polarization power spectrum, which mainly reflects primordial plasma velocity perturbations, provides an independent determination of cosmological parameters consistent with those based on the temperature power spectrum, which results mostly from primordial density perturbations. We find that without masking any point sources in the EE data at $\ell<9000$, the Poisson tail of the EE power spectrum due to polarized point sources has an amplitude less than $2.4$ $\mu$K$^2$ at $\ell = 3000$ at 95\% confidence. Finally, we report that the Crab Nebula, an important polarization calibration source at microwave frequencies, has 8.7\% polarization with an angle of $150.9^\circ \pm 0.5^\circ$ when smoothed with a $5'$ Gaussian beam.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
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    Eric R. Switzer · Adrian Liu
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    ABSTRACT: Spectral measurements of the 21 cm monopole background have the promise of revealing the bulk energetic properties and ionization state of our universe from z ~ 6-30. Synchrotron foregrounds are orders of magnitude larger than the cosmological signal, and are the principal challenge faced by these experiments. While synchrotron radiation is thought to be spectrally smooth and described by relatively few degrees of freedom, the instrumental response to bright foregrounds may be much more complex. To deal with such complexities, we develop an approach that discovers contaminated spectral modes using spatial fluctuations of the measured data. This approach exploits the fact that foregrounds vary across the sky while the signal does not. The discovered modes are projected out of each line-of-sight of a data cube. An angular weighting then optimizes the cosmological signal amplitude estimate by giving preference to lower-noise regions. Using this method, we show that it is essential for the passband to be stable to at least ~10^{-4}. In contrast, the constraints on the spectral smoothness of the absolute calibration are mainly aesthetic if one is able to take advantage of spatial information. To the extent it is understood, controlling polarization to intensity leakage at the ~10^{-2} level will also be essential to rejecting Faraday rotation of the polarized synchrotron emission.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present the temperature power spectra of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) derived from the three seasons of data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 GHz and 218 GHz, as well as the cross-frequency spectrum between the two channels. We detect and correct for contamination due to the Galactic cirrus in our equatorial maps. We present the results of a number of tests for possible systematic error and conclude that any effects are not significant compared to the statistical errors we quote. Where they overlap, we cross-correlate the ACT and the South Pole Telescope (SPT) maps and show they are consistent. The measurements of higher-order peaks in the CMB power spectrum provide an additional test of the Lambda CDM cosmological model, and help constrain extensions beyond the standard model. The small angular scale power spectrum also provides constraining power on the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects and extragalactic foregrounds. We also present a measurement of the CMB gravitational lensing convergence power spectrum at 4.6-sigma detection significance.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the design, construction, and initial validation of the variable-delay polarization modulator (VPM) designed for the PIPER cosmic microwave background polarimeter. The VPM modulates between linear and circular polarization by introducing a phase delay between orthogonal linear polarizations. Each VPM has a diameter of 39 cm and is designed to operate in a cryogenic environment (1.5 K). We describe the mechanical design and performance of the kinematic double-blade flexure and drive mechanism along with the construction of the high precision wire grid polarizers.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Review of Scientific Instruments
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    ABSTRACT: The Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) is a balloon-borne CMB polarimeter designed to constrain the B-mode signature of cosmological inflation. Sequential one-day flights from Northern- and Southern- Hemisphere sites will yield maps of Stokes I, Q, U and V at 200, 270, 350 and 600 GHz over 85% of the sky. The full optical path is cooled to 1.5 K by liquid helium in the ARCADE bucket dewar, and a variable-delay polarization modulator (VPM) at the front of the optics modulates the polarization response. Independent Q and U cameras each have two 32x40 Transition Edge Sensor array receivers. In addition to its primary inflationary science goal, PIPER will also measure the circular (Stokes V) polarization to a depth similar to that of the primary linear polarization. The circular polarization has received relatively little attention in large-area surveys, with constraints from the 1980’s and recent results by the Milan Polarimeter. Astrophysical circular polarization is generally tied to the presence of magnetic fields, either in relativistic plasmas or Zeeman splitting of resonances. These effects are thought to be undetectable at PIPER's frequencies and resolution, despite the depth. The expectation of a null result makes the deep Stokes V map a good cross-check for experimental systematics. More fundamentally, the fact that the sky is expected to be dark in Stokes V makes it a sector sensitive to processes such as Lorentz-violating terms in the standard model or magnetic fields in the CMB era.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We present a statistical analysis of the millimetre-wavelength properties of 1.4 GHz-selected sources and a detection of the Sunyaev–Zel'dovich (SZ) effect associated with the haloes that host them. We stack data at 148, 218 and 277 GHz from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope at the positions of a large sample of radio AGN selected at 1.4 GHz. The thermal SZ effect associated with the haloes that host the AGN is detected at the 5σ level through its spectral signature, representing a statistical detection of the SZ effect in some of the lowest mass haloes (average M200 ≈ 1013 M$_{{\odot }}\,h_{70}^{-1}$) studied to date. The relation between the SZ effect and mass (based on weak lensing measurements of radio galaxies) is consistent with that measured by Planck for local bright galaxies. In the context of galaxy evolution models, this study confirms that galaxies with radio AGN also typically support hot gaseous haloes. Adding Herschel observations allows us to show that the SZ signal is not significantly contaminated by dust emission. Finally, we analyse the contribution of radio sources to the angular power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a point source catalog from 771 square degrees of the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev Zel'dovich (SPT-SZ) survey at 95, 150, and 220 GHz. We detect 1545 sources above 4.5 sigma significance in at least one band. Based on their relative brightness between survey bands, we classify the sources into two populations, one dominated by synchrotron emission from active galactic nuclei, and one dominated by thermal emission from dust-enshrouded star-forming galaxies. We find 1238 synchrotron and 307 dusty sources. We cross-match all sources against external catalogs and find 189 unidentified synchrotron sources and 189 unidentified dusty sources. The dusty sources without counterparts are good candidates for high-redshift, strongly lensed submillimeter galaxies. We derive number counts for each population from 1 Jy down to roughly 9, 5, and 11 mJy at 95, 150, and 220 GHz. We compare these counts with galaxy population models and find that none of the models we consider for either population provide a good fit to the measured counts in all three bands. The disparities imply that these measurements will be an important input to the next generation of millimeter-wave extragalactic source population models.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a catalogue of 191 extragalactic sources detected by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 148 and/or 218 GHz in the 2008 Southern survey. Flux densities span 14 –1700 mJy, and we use source spectral indices derived using ACT-only data to divide our sources into two subpopulations: 167 radio galaxies powered by central active galactic nuclei (AGN) and 24 dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs). We cross-identify 97 per cent of our sources (166 of the AGN and 19 of the DSFGs) with those in currently available catalogues. When combined with flux densities from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz survey and follow-up observations with the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the synchrotron-dominated population is seen to exhibit a steepening of the slope of the spectral energy distribution from 20 to 148 GHz, with the trend continuing to 218 GHz. The ACT dust-dominated source population has a median spectral index, α148–218, of 3.7$^{+0.62}_{-0.86}$, and includes both local galaxies and sources with redshift around 6. Dusty sources with no counterpart in existing catalogues likely belong to a recently discovered subpopulation of DSFGs lensed by foreground galaxies or galaxy groups.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: The large-scale distribution of neutral hydrogen in the Universe will be luminous through its 21 cm emission. Here, for the first time, we use the auto-power spectrum of 21 cm intensity fluctuations to constrain neutral hydrogen fluctuations at z ∼ 0.8. Our data were acquired with the Green Bank Telescope and span the redshift range 0.6 < z < 1 over two fields totalling ≈41 deg2 and 190 h of radio integration time. The dominant synchrotron foregrounds exceed the signal by ∼103, but have fewer degrees of freedom and can be removed efficiently. Even in the presence of residual foregrounds, the auto-power can still be interpreted as an upper bound on the 21 cm signal. Our previous measurements of the cross-correlation of 21 cm intensity and the WiggleZ galaxy survey provide a lower bound. Through a Bayesian treatment of signal and foregrounds, we can combine both fields in auto- and cross-power into a measurement of ΩHI bHI= [0.62+0.23−0.15] × 10−3 at 68 per cent confidence with 9 per cent systematic calibration uncertainty, where ΩHI is the neutral hydrogen (H i) fraction and bHI is the H i bias parameter. We describe observational challenges with the present data set and plans to overcome them.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: SZpack is a numerical library which allows fast and precise computation of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) signal for hot, moving clusters of galaxies. Both explicit numerical integration as well as approximate representation of the SZ signals can be obtained. Variations of the electron temperature and bulk velocity along the line-of-sight can be included. SZpack allows very fast and precise (<~0.001% at frequencies h nu <~ 30kT_g and electron temperature kTe ~ 75 keV) computation and its accuracy practically eliminates uncertainties related to more expensive numerical evaluation of the Boltzmann collision term. It furthermore cleanly separates kinematic corrections from scattering physics, effects that previously have not been clarified.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the measurement of the beam profiles and window functions for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), which operated from 2007 to 2010 with kilo-pixel bolometer arrays centered at 148, 218, and 277 GHz. Maps of Saturn are used to measure the beam shape in each array and for each season of observations. Radial profiles are transformed to Fourier space in a way that preserves the spatial correlations in the beam uncertainty, to derive window functions relevant for angular power spectrum analysis. Several corrections are applied to the resulting beam transforms, including an empirical correction measured from the final CMB survey maps to account for the effects of mild pointing variation and alignment errors. Observations of Uranus made regularly throughout each observing season are used to measure the effects of atmospheric opacity and to monitor deviations in telescope focus over the season. Using the WMAP-based calibration of the ACT maps to the CMB blackbody, we obtain precise measurements of the brightness temperatures of the Uranus and Saturn disks at effective frequencies of 149 and 219 GHz. For Uranus we obtain thermodynamic brightness temperatures T_U^{149} = 106.7 \pm 2.2 K and T_U^{219} = 100.1 \pm 3.1 K. For Saturn, we model the effects of the ring opacity and emission using a simple model and obtain resulting (unobscured) disk temperatures of T_S^{149} = 137.3 \pm 3.2 K and T_S^{219} = 137.3 \pm 4.7 K.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data from the WMAP, ACT and SPT experiments provide precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background temperature power spectrum over a wide range of angular scales. The combination of these observations is well fit by the standard, spatially flat LCDM cosmological model, constraining six free parameters to within a few percent. The scalar spectral index, n_s = 0.9690 +/- 0.0089, is less than unity at the 3.6 sigma level, consistent with simple models of inflation. The damping tail of the power spectrum at high resolution, combined with the amplitude of gravitational lensing measured by ACT and SPT, constrains the effective number of relativistic species to be N_eff = 3.28 +/- 0.40, in agreement with the standard model's three species of light neutrinos.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Physical Review D
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    ABSTRACT: [Abridged] We present a catalog of 68 galaxy clusters, of which 19 are new discoveries, detected via the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ) at 148 GHz in the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) survey of 504 square degrees on the celestial equator. A subsample of 48 clusters within the 270 square degree region overlapping SDSS Stripe 82 is estimated to be 90% complete for M_500c > 4.5e14 Msun and 0.15 < z < 0.8. While matched filters are used to detect the clusters, the sample is studied further through a "Profile Based Amplitude Analysis" using a single filter at a fixed \theta_500 = 5.9' angular scale. This new approach takes advantage of the "Universal Pressure Profile" (UPP) to fix the relationship between the cluster characteristic size (R_500) and the integrated Compton parameter (Y_500). The UPP scalings are found to be nearly identical to an adiabatic model, while a model incorporating non-thermal pressure better matches dynamical mass measurements and masses from the South Pole Telescope. A high signal to noise ratio subsample of 15 ACT clusters is used to obtain cosmological constraints. We first confirm that constraints from SZ data are limited by uncertainty in the scaling relation parameters rather than sample size or measurement uncertainty. We next add in seven clusters from the ACT Southern survey, including their dynamical mass measurements based on galaxy velocity dispersions. In combination with WMAP7 these data simultaneously constrain the scaling relation and cosmological parameters, yielding \sigma_8 = 0.829 \pm 0.024 and \Omega_m = 0.292 \pm 0.025. The results include marginalization over a 15% bias in dynamical mass relative to the true halo mass. In an extension to LCDM that incorporates non-zero neutrino mass density, we combine our data with WMAP7+BAO+Hubble constant measurements to constrain \Sigma m_\nu < 0.29 eV (95% C. L.).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

Publication Stats

2k Citations
324.53 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013-2015
    • NASA
      Вашингтон, West Virginia, United States
  • 2010-2015
    • University of Toronto
      • • Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
      • • Department of Physics
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Cardiff University
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2009-2012
    • University of Chicago
      • • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      • • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2004-2012
    • Princeton University
      • • Department of Physics
      • • Department of Astrophysical Sciences
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States