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Cosmology and Astrophysics from Relaxed Galaxy Clusters II: Cosmological Constraints

  • Mantz, Adam B.
  • Allen, Steven W.
  • Morris, R. Glenn
  • Rapetti, David A.
  • Applegate, Douglas E.
  • Kelly, Patrick L.
  • von der Linden, Anja
  • Schmidt, Robert W.
Published Article
Publication Date
Mar 21, 2014
Submission Date
Feb 25, 2014
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu368
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We present cosmological constraints from measurements of the gas mass fraction, $f_{gas}$, for massive, dynamically relaxed galaxy clusters. Our data set consists of Chandra observations of 40 such clusters, identified in a comprehensive search of the Chandra archive, as well as high-quality weak gravitational lensing data for a subset of these clusters. Incorporating a robust gravitational lensing calibration of the X-ray mass estimates, and restricting our measurements to the most self-similar and accurately measured regions of clusters, significantly reduces systematic uncertainties compared to previous work. Our data for the first time constrain the intrinsic scatter in $f_{gas}$, $(7.4\pm2.3)$% in a spherical shell at radii 0.8-1.2 $r_{2500}$, consistent with the expected variation in gas depletion and non-thermal pressure for relaxed clusters. From the lowest-redshift data in our sample we obtain a constraint on a combination of the Hubble parameter and cosmic baryon fraction, $h^{3/2}\Omega_b/\Omega_m=0.089\pm0.012$, that is insensitive to the nature of dark energy. Combined with standard priors on $h$ and $\Omega_b h^2$, this provides a tight constraint on the cosmic matter density, $\Omega_m=0.27\pm0.04$, which is similarly insensitive to dark energy. Using the entire cluster sample, extending to $z>1$, we obtain consistent results for $\Omega_m$ and interesting constraints on dark energy: $\Omega_\Lambda=0.65^{+0.17}_{-0.22}$ for non-flat $\Lambda$CDM models, and $w=-0.98\pm0.26$ for flat constant-$w$ models. Our results are both competitive and consistent with those from recent CMB, SNIa and BAO data. We present constraints on models of evolving dark energy from the combination of $f_{gas}$ data with these external data sets, and comment on the possibilities for improved $f_{gas}$ constraints using current and next-generation X-ray observatories and lensing data. (Abridged)

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