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Durham e-Theses
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The evolution of galaxies in massive clusters

Stott, John Philip (2007) The evolution of galaxies in massive clusters. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



We present a study of the evolution of galaxies in massive X-ray selected clusters across half the age of the Universe. This encompasses galaxies on the red sequence from the Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG) to the faint red population. We begin at the tip of the red sequence with an investigation into the near infrared evolution of BCGs since z =1. By comparing the BCG Hubble diagram and near-infrared colour evolution to a set of stellar population and semi-analytic models we constrain the evolution and formation redshift of these massive galaxies. Moving down in luminosity from the BCG, in chapter 3 we study the build up of the red sequence in massive clusters. To achieve this we compare the luminosity functions for red galaxies in a homogeneous sample of ten X-ray luminous clusters at z ~ 0.5 to a similarly selected X-ray cluster sample at z ~ 0.1. We quantify this result by measuring the dwarf to giant ratio to ascertain whether faint galaxies have joined the red sequence over the last 5 Gyr. In chapter 4 we study the evolution of the red sequence slope in massive clusters from z=l to present day. We compare our observed slope evolution to that predicted from semi- analytical models based on the Millennium simulation. We also look for trends between the red sequence slope and other cluster observables, such as X—ray luminosity, to investigate whether this will effect cluster detection methods which search for a colour-magnitude relation. In the final science chapter we present the details of our own cluster detection algorithm. This simple algorithm is based on finding clusters through the near-infrared and optical properties of the red sequence, drawing on our galaxy cluster evolution research. We describe the application of the algorithm to object catalogues from the UKIDSS DXS fields in order to find clusters at z ~ 1. To confirm the presence of the clusters we employ deep multi-object spectroscopy on the photometric members. The clusters found in this study are fed back into the high redshift regime of our galaxy evolution research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2007
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:29

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