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A Multiwavelength Study of the Intracluster Medium and the Characterization of the Multiwavelength Sub/millimeter Inductance Camera


Siegel, Seth Robert (2016) A Multiwavelength Study of the Intracluster Medium and the Characterization of the Multiwavelength Sub/millimeter Inductance Camera. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9Z31WJ7.


The first part of this thesis combines Bolocam observations of the thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect at 140 GHz with X-ray observations from Chandra, strong lensing data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and weak lensing data from HST and Subaru to constrain parametric models for the distribution of dark and baryonic matter in a sample of six massive, dynamically relaxed galaxy clusters. For five of the six clusters, the full multiwavelength dataset is well described by a relatively simple model that assumes spherical symmetry, hydrostatic equilibrium, and entirely thermal pressure support. The multiwavelength analysis yields considerably better constraints on the total mass and concentration compared to analysis of any one dataset individually. The subsample of five galaxy clusters is used to place an upper limit on the fraction of pressure support in the intracluster medium (ICM) due to nonthermal processes, such as turbulent and bulk flow of the gas. We constrain the nonthermal pressure fraction at r500c to be less than 0.11 at 95% confidence, where r500c refers to radius at which the average enclosed density is 500 times the critical density of the Universe. This is in tension with state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulations, which predict a nonthermal pressure fraction of approximately 0.25 at r500c for the clusters in this sample.

The second part of this thesis focuses on the characterization of the Multiwavelength Sub/millimeter Inductance Camera (MUSIC), a photometric imaging camera that was commissioned at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) in 2012. MUSIC is designed to have a 14 arcminute, diffraction-limited field of view populated with 576 spatial pixels that are simultaneously sensitive to four bands at 150, 220, 290, and 350 GHz. It is well-suited for studies of dusty star forming galaxies, galaxy clusters via the SZ Effect, and galactic star formation. MUSIC employs a number of novel detector technologies: broadband phased-arrays of slot dipole antennas for beam formation, on-chip lumped element filters for band definition, and Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) for transduction of incoming light to electric signal. MKIDs are superconducting micro-resonators coupled to a feedline. Incoming light breaks apart Cooper pairs in the superconductor, causing a change in the quality factor and frequency of the resonator. This is read out as amplitude and phase modulation of a microwave probe signal centered on the resonant frequency. By tuning each resonator to a slightly different frequency and sending out a superposition of probe signals, hundreds of detectors can be read out on a single feedline. This natural capability for large scale, frequency domain multiplexing combined with relatively simple fabrication makes MKIDs a promising low temperature detector for future kilopixel sub/millimeter instruments. There is also considerable interest in using MKIDs for optical through near-infrared spectrophotometry due to their fast microsecond response time and modest energy resolution. In order to optimize the MKID design to obtain suitable performance for any particular application, it is critical to have a well-understood physical model for the detectors and the sources of noise to which they are susceptible. MUSIC has collected many hours of on-sky data with over 1000 MKIDs. This work studies the performance of the detectors in the context of one such physical model. Chapter 2 describes the theoretical model for the responsivity and noise of MKIDs. Chapter 3 outlines the set of measurements used to calibrate this model for the MUSIC detectors. Chapter 4 presents the resulting estimates of the spectral response, optical efficiency, and on-sky loading. The measured detector response to Uranus is compared to the calibrated model prediction in order to determine how well the model describes the propagation of signal through the full instrument. Chapter 5 examines the noise present in the detector timestreams during recent science observations. Noise due to fluctuations in atmospheric emission dominate at long timescales (less than 0.5 Hz). Fluctuations in the amplitude and phase of the microwave probe signal due to the readout electronics contribute significant 1/f and drift-type noise at shorter timescales. The atmospheric noise is removed by creating a template for the fluctuations in atmospheric emission from weighted averages of the detector timestreams. The electronics noise is removed by using probe signals centered off-resonance to construct templates for the amplitude and phase fluctuations. The algorithms that perform the atmospheric and electronic noise removal are described. After removal, we find good agreement between the observed residual noise and our expectation for intrinsic detector noise over a significant fraction of the signal bandwidth.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:galaxy clusters; large-scale structure; multiwavelength observations; submillimeter and millimeter-wave astronomical instrumentation; microwave kinetic inductance detectors
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Golwala, Sunil
Group:Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Golwala, Sunil (chair)
  • Zmuidzinas, Jonas
  • Hopkins, Philip F.
  • Bartlett, James
Defense Date:14 July 2015
Non-Caltech Author Email:sethrsiegel (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10212015-211417853
Persistent URL:
Siegel, Seth Robert0000-0003-2631-6217
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9238
Deposited By: Seth Siegel
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 21:23
Last Modified:10 Mar 2020 19:18

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