Galaxy Cluster Physics with TolTEC

Any patch of the sky mapped by the Wide Large Scale Structure Survey will contain a statistically significant sample of 100 massive galaxy clusters (M >1014Mʘ at z > 1). The three TolTEC bands are optimized to detect the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect (SZE), produced when the photons of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), relic of the Big Bang, interact with the energetic electrons of the diffuse intracluster medium in rich clusters of galaxies. The distortion produced when they gain or lose energy by inverse-Compton scattering is optimally detected by TolTEC, which simultaneously maps the decrement (2.0 mm), the null (1.4 mm), and the increment (1.1 mm) of the distortion over the CMB flux density, with high resolution. TolTEC will thus offer an independent measure of cluster sub-structure, mass and peculiar velocities and allow us to answer the following key questions: Are the rate of major mergers and structure formation at high-z in agreement with the predictions? How contaminated are current low-resolution SZE based estimations of cosmological parameters by the substructure of the intra-cluster medium?

Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689 Magnifies the Dark Universe Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Jullo (JPL), P. Natarajan (Yale), & J.-P. Kneib (LAM, CNRS) Acknowledgment: H. Ford and N. Benetiz (JHU), & T. Broadhurst (Tel Aviv)

The SZE imprints a distortion on the flux density of the CMB. Marked in colours are the 3 TOLTEC bands.