Published in "Clusters of Galaxies", eds. W. R. Oegerle, M. J. Fitchett and L. Danly 1990
Abstract. I discuss some issues that arise in the attempt to understand what rich clusters of galaxies might teach us about cosmology. First, the mean mass per galaxy in a cluster, if applied to all bright galaxies, yields a mean mass density ~ 30 percent of the critical Einstein-de Sitter value. Is this because the mass per galaxy is biased low in clusters, or must we learn to live in a low density universe? Second, what is the sequence of creation? There are theories in which protoclusters form before galaxies, or after, or the two are more or less coeval. Third, can we imagine that clusters formed by gravitational instability out of Gaussian primeval density fluctuations? Or do the observations point to the non-Gaussian perturbations to be expected from cosmic strings, or explosions, or even some variants of inflation? These issues depend on a fourth: do we know the gross physical properties of clusters well enough to use them as constraints on cosmology? I argue that some are too well established to ignore. Their implications for the other issues are not so clear, but one can see signs of progress.
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