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The Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect as a Probe of Black Hole Feedback

Chatterjee, Suchetana (2009) The Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect as a Probe of Black Hole Feedback. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Feedback from supermassive black holes has a substantial but only partially understood impact on structure formation in the universe. The Sunyaev-Zeldovich signal from the hot gas that is present in black hole environments serves, as a potential probe of this feedback mechanism. Using a simple one-dimensional Sedov-Taylor model of energy outflow we calculate the angular power spectrum of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich distortion. The amplitude of temperature fluctuation is of the order of a micro-Kelvin in the cosmic microwave background at arcminute scales. This signal is at or below the noise level of current microwave experiments including the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the South Pole Telescope. To further investigate this effect we have constructed microwave maps of the resulting distortion around individual black holes from a cosmological hydrodynamic simulation. The simulation employs a self-consistent treatment of star formation, supernova feedback and accretion and feedback from supermassive black holes. We show that the temperature distortion scales approximately with the black hole mass and accretion rate, with a typical amplitude up to a few micro-Kelvin on angular scales around 10 arcseconds. We also discuss the possible techniques for detection of this signal which includes pointed observations from high resolution millimeter wave telescopes and cross-correlation of optical quasar catalogs with microwave maps. We perform a cross-correlation analysis of the signal, by stacking microwave maps of quasars identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We use the microwave data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe experiment to do this analysis. We perform a two-component (SZ+Dust) fit to the cross-correlation spectrum. Our results yield a best fit $y$ parameter of $(5.8 pm 1.8)imes 10^{-7}$. This signal is likely to be originating from the Sunyaev-Zeldovich distortions from intervening large scale structures. We show that the Atacama Cosmology Telescope will be able to constrain this signal with a much higher statistical significance. In this work we have shown that a traditional tool of cosmology, namely the microwave background, can be used as a potential probe of feedback from supermassive black holes, which is an interesting problem in theories of galaxy evolution.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKosowsky, Arthurkosowsky@pitt.eduKOSOWSKY
Committee MemberSingh, Chandralekhaclsingh@pitt.eduCLSINGH
Committee MemberTurnshek, Daviddavidt@pitt.eduDAVIDT
Committee MemberWilson,
Committee MemberHillier, Johnjdh@galah.phyast.pitt.eduHILLIER
Date: 30 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 3 August 2009
Approval Date: 30 September 2009
Submission Date: 7 July 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Physics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: intergalactic medium; quasars; cosmic microwave background; cosmology theory; galaxies; submillimeter
Other ID:, etd-07072009-133501
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:50
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:45


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