This thesis describes the first significant measurement of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects at millimeter wavelengths. Accurate measurements of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects at millimeter wavelengths allow separation of the thermal and kinetic effects. These measurements, combined with x-ray observations, allow a determination of the Hubble constant, H _0, and the peculiar velocity of the cluster. A review of previous measurements in the field is presented to show the value of a new experiment at millimeter wavelengths. The previous work and a consideration of astrophysical concerns motivate the design of the new instrument. The discussion includes a description of problems encountered during the development of the instrument, and the solutions that were implemented. We observed Abell 2163 with the instrument in April 1993 at the Caltech Sub-millimeter Observatory on Mauna Kea. We discuss the calibration and sensitivity of the receiver, and the observations that were performed. We describe the data analysis used to reduce the data and derive the magnitude of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect present in Abell 2163. This description includes consideration and evaluation of possible sources of error and a check of blank sky observations to ensure that systematic errors did not contribute to the detection. We conclude with an evaluation of the future prospects for the experiment, and a discussion of the contributions that the experiment could reasonably make to cosmology and cluster studies. The receiver has proven to be a powerful tool for observation of faint sources and surveying small regions of the sky. A second generation instrument is anticipated. The experiment could make significant contributions to the determination of H_0 and the velocity field of the universe, and might assist in the study of the intracluster medium.
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- Physics: General, Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics