Published in 1999, Physics Reports, 310, 97.

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THE SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT

Mark Birkinshaw 1

Department of Physics, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL, UK


ABSTRACT. The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect causes a change in the apparent brightness of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation towards a cluster of galaxies or any other reservoir of hot plasma. Measurements of the effect provide distinctly different information about cluster properties than X-ray imaging data, while combining X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect data leads to new insights into the structures of cluster atmospheres. The effect is redshift-independent, and so provides a unique probe of the structure of the Universe on the largest scales. The present review discusses the theory of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and collects published results for many clusters, presents the overall conclusions that may be drawn from the detections so far, and discusses the prospects for future research on the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects.


Key Words: Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect; Clusters; Microwave Background Radiation


Table of Contents

ASTROPHYSICAL CONTEXT
The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Thermal history of the Universe and the CMBR
COBE and the CMBR
Clusters of galaxies and the CMBR

RADIATION BASICS

INVERSE-COMPTON SCATTERING
Single photon-electron scattering
Scattering of photons by an electron population
Effect on spectrum of radiation
The Kompaneets approximation

THE THERMAL SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT
The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect from clusters of galaxies
Superclusters of galaxies
Local Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects

THE NON-THERMAL SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT

THE KINEMATIC SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT

POLARIZATION AND THE SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT

MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES
Single-dish radiometer measurements
Bolometric methods
Interferometric methods

SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT DATA
Cluster data
Non-thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects

THE SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECTS ANALYSED IN TERMS OF CLUSTER PROPERTIES
Cluster gas properties
Cluster velocities

THE SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT INTERPRETED IN COSMOLOGICAL TERMS
Cosmological parameters
Contributions to the CMBR spectrum
Fluctuations in the CMBR
Quasars and the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects

CONTINUING RESEARCH AND THE FUTURE OF THE SUNYAEV-ZEL'DOVICH EFFECT

REFERENCES



1 Also Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Back.

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