Galaxy Cluster Dynamics
I currently work with Professor Christopher Miller on the dynamics of galaxy clusters. Galaxy clusters form the largest possible gravitationally bound structures in the universe, making them an excellent laboratory to probe gravity on the largest of scales. The modern theoretical framework for gravity (general relativity) is one of the most well-tested theories ever invented, however, it has only ever been tested on relatively small distances compared to that of galaxy clusters (these typically have sizes on the order of Megaparsecs). These systems' mass content are dominated by dark matter, and thus have very deep potential wells making it difficult for galaxies to escape. However, over these massive distances it's possible for the expansion of the Universe to assist in galaxies' escape, which can be shown is equivalent to a force acting radially outwards. The balance between these two forces tells us if a galaxy will escape, and my work is on how to use the escape profiles of clusters to build cosmologically dependent mass profiles.