University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, November 18, 2016
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-38

Assistant Professor Caitlin Casey, University of Texas, Austin

The Ubiquity of Coeval Starbursts in Massive Galaxy Cluster Progenitors

The Universe’s largest galaxy clusters likely built the majority of their massive >10^11 M⊙ galaxies in simultaneous, short-lived bursts of activity well before virialization. The most challenging observational hurdle in identifying such pre-virialized “protoclusters” is their very large volumes, ~10^4 comoving Mpc^3 at z > 2, subtending areas ~half a degree on the sky. Thus the contrast afforded by an overabundance of very rare galaxies in comparison to the background can more easily distinguish overdense structures from the surrounding, normal density field. I will present five 2 10^15 M⊙ galaxy clusters in the nearby Universe, a factor of five larger than expected in some simulations. Some tension yet exists between measurements and simulations. However, improved observations of protoclusters over large regions of sky will certainly shed more light on the assembly of galaxy clusters, thus fundamental parameters governing cosmology, and also the role of environment in shaping the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk, at 3:30 p.m., in the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room PB-103.

More information will follow.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916, dawn.rawlinson

Physics Department (primary)

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