Clusters of galaxies, the most massive virialized systems known, provide a powerful tool for studying the structure, the mass density, and the cosmology of our universe. Clusters furnish one of the best estimates of the dynamical mass density parameter on 1 Mpc scale, Omega dyn; the best measure of the baryon density fraction in the universe; an excellent tracer of the large-scale structure of the universe; and, most recently, a powerful tracer of the evolution of structure in the universe and its unique cosmological implications. I review the above measures and show that they portray a consistent picture of the universe and place stringent constraints on cosmology. Each of these independent measures suggests a low-density universe, Omega m ~ 0.3 +/- 0.1, with mass approximately tracing light on large scales.
Large Scale Structure: Tracks and Traces
- Pub Date:
- 12 pages, 3 figures, Review talk presented at the 12 th Postdam Cosmology Workshop, "Large Scale Structure: Tracks and Traces", World Scientific 1998