The Physics of the Magnetized Hot Gas in the Cores of Galaxy Clusters

04/11/2019 - 3:30pm
Blazer 339
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
John ZuHone (Cfa)
Galaxy clusters are the largest bound objects in the universe and the end products of cosmological structure formation. The dominant baryonic component of galaxy clusters is the intracluster medium, a hot, diffuse, and magnetized plasma. This plasma emits in X-rays, which results in the cooling of the gas in the centers of clusters, producing dense, bright, and cold cores. Mergers with other clusters produce gas motions in these cores, which produce sharp discontinuities in surface brightness and temperature known as “cold fronts”. I will show how we combine numerical simulations and X-ray observations of merging clusters to probe the detailed plasma physics of the intracluster medium, study gas motions, and potentially place constraints on the self-interaction cross-section of dark matter particles. 
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