The evolution of large-scale structure is traced by galaxy clusters, which are groups of galaxies gravitationally bound by a shared envelope of dark matter on scales of 1-10 Mpc. They are filled with an intra-cluster medium (ICM) consisting of a diffuse hot plasma with characteristic temperature $10^7K. While ICM models match reasonably well with observations, smaller-scale astrophysical processes in clusters can complicate interpretations of derived thermodynamic properties. These can include cluster-cluster mergers, feedback from active black holes, and accretion, among several others. The complex relationship between these processes and the properties of the ICM must be understood to use clusters as a proxy for structure formation over cosmic history. My work uses two different instruments to constrain large-scale structure evolution and cluster astrophysics through observations of the diffuse ICM. The first is Herschel-SPIRE, which I used to measure cluster temperatures with the relativistic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The second is the Tomographic Ionized-carbon Mapping Experiment, which will perform observations of cluster peculiar velocities using the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. These measurements will provide insight into the connection between clusters and the cosmic web of structure that influences their growth. This thesis will describe the creation and testing of an analysis pipeline to derive cluster ICM temperatures using archival SPIRE data, as well as the hardware and software development I performed for the TIME project, and my contributions during our two instrument deployments.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Galaxies--Clusters; Large scale structure (Astronomy)--Evolution
Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (Ph.D.)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)
Butler, Victoria, "A Study of Large-Scale Structure Evolution through Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Corrections in Massive Clusters" (2023). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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