Schedule Mar 18, 2011
Optical Cluster-finding for Cosmology: The Dark Energy Survey and Beyond Brian F. Gerke, for the DES Clusters Working Group
Risa Wechsler (KIPAC/SLAC)

Deep, wide-field imaging surveys are the most efficient means to detect large numbers of galaxy clusters. Upcoming large photometric surveys therefore hold great potential for constraining cosmology by measuring the evolution of the cluster mass function. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) will survey 5000 square degrees of the southern sky, yielding hundreds of thousands of galaxy clusters out to z~1.3. For the full statistical power of this sample to be realized, it is essential to accurately characterize the completeness, purity, mass-observable relation, and selection function of the observed cluster catalog. Each of these quantities depends sensitively on the method used to detect clusters in the photometric data, so great care must be taken in the development and calibration of cluster-finding algorithms. In this talk I will first give a brief overview of DES and its potential for cluster cosmology. I will then present the first results from the DES cluster-finder comparison project, which establishes a framework for testing, calibrating, and comparing a wide array of cluster-finders and assessing their usefulness for cosmological tests. I will also describe near-term plans for using this framework to perform a fully blind cosmological analysis on simulated data in advance of the first-year DES data.

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