Probing Cosmic Monsters: Confronting Hydrodynamic Simulations with New Observations of High-density Environments
- S.L. Ahad
- Tuesday 21 November 2023
2311 GJ Leiden
- Prof.dr. H. Hoekstra
- dr. Y.M. Bahé
Galaxies in the Universe are distributed along the intricate framework of the Cosmic Web. Groups and clusters of galaxies comprise the densest regions in this network, and therefore, are excellent cosmic laboratories to study different aspects of galaxy evolution in extreme environments. In this thesis, we explore a wide range of properties of cluster galaxies and their host systems, such as the spatial distribution of mass in galaxies within clusters, the faint and diffuse stellar halo in groups and clusters, and processes that quench massive galaxies in high-redshift clusters. For this exploration, we develop methods to enable and optimise detailed comparisons of state-of-the-art observations and cosmological hydrodynamic simulations over more than half of the age of the Universe. Through our carefully-designed analyses, we test the validity of the simulations for studying the low-surface-brightness and high-redshift Universe. We also demonstrate how such comparisons can provide novel insights and motivate new tests for understanding galaxy evolution in dense environments.
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