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The distribution of stellar mass in galaxy clusters over cosmic time

Promotor: Prof.dr. K.H. Kuijken, Co-Promotor: H.Hoekstra

R.F.J. van der Burg
14 mei 2014
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Understanding how galaxies form in our dark matter dominated Universe is a key goal of extragalactic astronomy. Both the stellar mass function and the spatial distribution of galaxies provide insights in the connection between dark matter and the stellar component. This thesis presents measurements on the stellar component in the most massive structures formed in the Universe, with the potential to test and further expand current physical models and thus our understanding of the cosmos. After studying 10 clusters in the distant Universe (Chapter 2-4), and 10 clusters in the local Universe (Chapter 5), we consider different evolutionary scenarios to explain the observed trends. Chapter 6 presents measurements on the very distant Universe, probing a time at which these massive structures have not yet formed.

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