From observations to simulations: unveiling the nature of galaxy clusters

Topic: Extragalactic Astrophysics

Session Title: From observations to simulations: unveiling the nature of galaxy clusters


Galaxy clusters are distinguished by their immense mass on a cosmic scale, serving as laboratories for studying dark matter, galaxies, and gas dynamics. This session will spotlight recent advancements in our understanding of galaxy clusters through a combination of observational and computational approaches. 

Observationally, state-of-the-art telescopes and advanced instrumentation have enabled us to probe galaxy clusters across multiple wavelengths, unveiling intricate details of their structure, dynamics, and the various physical processes at play. High-resolution imaging and spectroscopy have allowed us to examine the distribution of dark matter, the behavior of hot intracluster gas, the properties of galaxies within these clusters, and even their faint intracluster light. In particular, advances in multi-wavelength surveys and gravitational lensing techniques have led to precise mass measurements of clusters, shedding light on the elusive nature of dark matter.

Complementing these observations, numerical simulations have assumed a central role in modeling the formation and evolution of galaxy clusters. Simulations incorporating cosmological parameters, hydrodynamics, and sub-grid physics enable us to replicate the intricate interplay between gravitational collapse, gas dynamics, and galaxy evolution. As a result, these simulations have provided insights into various phenomena, including cluster mergers, the accretion and growth of supermassive black holes, and the feedback processes that regulate star formation within galaxies residing in cluster environments.

This session will explore the synergy between observations and simulations, highlighting how they mutually contribute to our understanding of galaxy clusters and their progenitors: proto-clusters. As observational techniques continue to advance, and simulations become increasingly sophisticated, we are poised to unravel the mysteries surrounding the assembly and evolution of these structures. Such insights not only deepen our comprehension of the large-scale structure of the Universe but also have implications for our understanding of astrophysics and cosmology, including the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Organiser(s):Stephane Werner, Jess Doppel, Catherine Cerny, Marcus Halson, Nency Patel, David Lagattuta and Mathilde Jauzac (Durham University)


Session 1: Tuesday 16th July, 09:00 – 11:00