M. Mcdonald

M. Mcdonald
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M. Mcdonald

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Pub Categories

Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (24)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (23)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (6)
Quantum Physics (3)
Physics - Atomic Physics (3)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (3)
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (2)
Statistics - Methodology (2)
Nuclear Experiment (2)
Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems (1)
Physics - Physics and Society (1)
Quantitative Biology - Quantitative Methods (1)
Physics - Chemical Physics (1)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (1)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (1)
Nuclear Theory (1)
Physics - Accelerator Physics (1)

Publications Authored By M. Mcdonald

We present ALMA CO (2-1) detections in eleven gas-rich cluster galaxies at z~1.6, constituting the largest sample of molecular gas measurements in z>1 clusters to date. The observations span three galaxy clusters, derived from the Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS). Read More

We present accurate mass and thermodynamic profiles for a sample of 56 galaxy clusters observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We investigate the effects of local gravitational acceleration in central cluster galaxies, and we explore the role of the local free-fall time (t$_{\rm ff}$) in thermally unstable cooling. We find that the local cooling time (t$_{\rm cool}$) is as effective an indicator of cold gas, traced through its nebular emission, as the ratio of t$_{\rm cool}$/t$_{\rm ff}$. Read More

We present the results of a Chandra X-ray survey of the 8 most massive galaxy clusters at z>1.2 in the South Pole Telescope 2500 deg^2 survey. We combine this sample with previously-published Chandra observations of 49 massive X-ray-selected clusters at 0Read More

We extend Relative Robust Portfolio Optimisation models to allow portfolios to optimise their distance to a set of benchmarks. Portfolio managers are also given the option of computing regret in a way which is more in line with market practices than other approaches suggested in the literature. In addition, they are given the choice of simply adding an extra constraint to their optimisation problem instead of outright changing the objective function, as is commonly suggested in the literature. Read More

The velocity distribution of galaxies in clusters is not universal; rather, galaxies are segregated according to their spectral type and relative luminosity. We examine the velocity distributions of different populations of galaxies within 89 Sunyaev Zel'dovich (SZ) selected galaxy clusters spanning $ 0.28 < z < 1. Read More

We present an HST/ACS weak gravitational lensing analysis of 13 massive high-redshift (z_median=0.88) galaxy clusters discovered in the South Pole Telescope (SPT) Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Survey. This study is part of a larger campaign that aims to robustly calibrate mass-observable scaling relations over a wide range in redshift to enable improved cosmological constraints from the SPT cluster sample. Read More

Star formation in galaxies at the center of cooling-flow galaxy clusters is an important phenomenon in the context of formation and evolution of massive galaxies in the Universe. Yet, star formation rates (SFRs) in such systems continue to be elusive. We use our Bayesian-motivated spectral energy distribution (SED)-fitting code, BAYESCOOL, to estimate the plausible SFR values in the brightest cluster galaxy of a massive, X-ray luminous galaxy cluster, Phoenix. Read More

We report new ALMA observations of the CO(3-2) line emission from the $2.1\pm0.3\times10^{10}\rm\thinspace M_{\odot}$ molecular gas reservoir in the central galaxy of the Phoenix cluster. Read More

Future data from galaxy redshift surveys, combined with high-resolutions maps of the cosmic microwave background, will enable measurements of the pairwise kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (kSZ) signal with unprecedented statistical significance. This signal probes the matter-velocity correlation function, scaled by the average optical depth ($\tau$) of the galaxy groups and clusters in the sample, and is thus of fundamental importance for cosmology. However, in order to translate pairwise kSZ measurements into cosmological constraints, external constraints on $\tau$ are necessary. Read More

We have performed a novel comparison between electron-beam polarimeters based on M{\o}ller and Compton scattering. A sequence of electron-beam polarization measurements were performed at low beam currents ($<$ 5 $\mu$A) during the $Q_{\rm weak}$ experiment in Hall C at Jefferson Lab. These low current measurements were bracketed by the regular high current (180 $\mu$A) operation of the Compton polarimeter. Read More

We present the results of SPT-GMOS, a spectroscopic survey with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini South. The targets of SPT-GMOS are galaxy clusters identified in the SPT-SZ survey, a millimeter-wave survey of 2500 squ. deg. Read More

The spatial distribution of the metals residing in the intra-cluster medium (ICM) of galaxy clusters records all the information on a cluster's nucleosynthesis and chemical enrichment history. We present measurements from a total of 1.2 Ms Suzaku XIS and 72 ks Chandra observations of the cool-core galaxy cluster Abell 3112 out its virial radius (~ 1470 kpc). Read More

We present a quantitative study of the X-ray morphology of galaxy clusters, as a function of their detection method and redshift. We analyze two separate samples of galaxy clusters: a sample of 36 clusters at 0.35 < z < 0. Read More

We have analyzed images from the VST ATLAS survey to identify candidate gravitationally lensed quasar systems in a sample of WISE sources with W1 - W2 > 0.7. Results from followup spectroscopy with the Baade 6. Read More

Supermassive black holes in galaxy centres can grow by the accretion of gas, liberating energy that might regulate star formation on galaxy-wide scales. The nature of the gaseous fuel reservoirs that power black hole growth is nevertheless largely unconstrained by observations, and is instead routinely simplified as a smooth, spherical inflow of very hot gas. Recent theory and simulations instead predict that accretion can be dominated by a stochastic, clumpy distribution of very cold molecular clouds - a departure from the "hot mode" accretion model - although unambiguous observational support for this prediction remains elusive. Read More

We study the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) signature in South Pole Telescope (SPT) data for an ensemble of 719 optically identified galaxy clusters selected from 124.6 deg$^2$ of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) science verification data, detecting a stacked SZE signal down to richness $\lambda\sim20$. The SZE signature is measured using matched-filtered maps of the 2500 deg$^2$ SPT-SZ survey at the positions of the DES clusters, and the degeneracy between SZE observable and matched-filter size is broken by adopting as priors SZE and optical mass-observable relations that are either calibrated using SPT selected clusters or through the Arnaud et al. Read More

We study the overdensity of point sources in the direction of X-ray-selected galaxy clusters from the Meta-Catalog of X-ray detected Clusters of galaxies (MCXC; $\langle z \rangle = 0.14$) at South Pole Telescope (SPT) and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey (SUMSS) frequencies. Flux densities at 95, 150 and 220 GHz are extracted from the 2500 deg$^2$ SPT-SZ survey maps at the locations of SUMSS sources, producing a multi-frequency catalog of radio galaxies. Read More

The recent discovery of the unidentified emission line at 3.55 keV in galaxies and clusters has attracted great interest from the community. As the origin of the line remains uncertain, we study the surface brightness distribution of the line in the Perseus cluster since that information can be used to identify its origin. Read More

We study the galaxy populations in 74 Sunyaev Zeldovich Effect (SZE) selected clusters from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) survey that have been imaged in the science verification phase of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The sample extends up to $z\sim 1.1$ with $4 \times 10^{14} M_{\odot}\le M_{200}\le 3\times 10^{15} M_{\odot}$. Read More

(abridged) We present cosmological constraints obtained from galaxy clusters identified by their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect signature in the 2500 square degree South Pole Telescope Sunyaev Zel'dovich survey. We consider the 377 cluster candidates identified at z>0.25 with a detection significance greater than five, corresponding to the 95% purity threshold for the survey. Read More

We present a study of the optical properties of the 26 most massive galaxy clusters selected within the SPT-SZ 2500 deg$^2$ survey. This Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect selected sample spans a redshift range of 0.10 < z < 1. Read More

We detect the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (kSZ) effect with a statistical significance of $4.2 \sigma$ by combining a cluster catalogue derived from the first year data of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) with CMB temperature maps from the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SPT-SZ) Survey. This measurement is performed with a differential statistic that isolates the pairwise kSZ signal, providing the first detection of the large-scale, pairwise motion of clusters using redshifts derived from photometric data. Read More

Bearing--only estimation is one of the fundamental and challenging problems in target tracking. As in the case of radar tracking, the presence of offset or position biases can exacerbate the challenges in bearing--only estimation. Modeling various sensor biases is not a trivial task and not much has been done in the literature specifically for bearing--only tracking. Read More

Bias estimation or sensor registration is an essential step in ensuring the accuracy of global tracks in multisensor-multitarget tracking. Most previously proposed algorithms for bias estimation rely on local measurements in centralized systems or tracks in distributed systems, along with additional information like covariances, filter gains or targets of opportunity. In addition, it is generally assumed that such data are made available to the fusion center at every sampling time. Read More

We present the results of an X-ray spectral analysis of 153 galaxy clusters observed with the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and Suzaku space telescopes. These clusters, which span 0 < z < 1.5, were drawn from a larger, mass-selected sample of galaxy clusters discovered in the 2500 square degree South Pole Telescope Sunyaev Zel'dovich (SPT-SZ) survey. Read More

The use of simplified models as a tool for interpreting dark matter collider searches has become increasingly prevalent, and while early Run II results are beginning to appear, we look to see what further information can be extracted from the Run I dataset. We consider three `standard' simplified models that couple quarks to fermionic singlet dark matter: an $s$-channel vector mediator with vector or axial-vector couplings, and a $t$-channel scalar mediator. Upper limits on the couplings are calculated and compared across three alternate channels, namely mono-jet, mono-$Z$ (leptonic) and mono-$W/Z$ (hadronic). Read More

We present deep H$\alpha$ imaging of three nearby dwarf galaxies, carefully selected to optimize observations with the Maryland-Magellan Tunable Filter (MMTF) on the Magellan 6.5m telescope. An effective bandpass of $\sim$13\AA\ is used, and the images reach 3$\sigma$ flux limits of $\sim$8$\times10^{-18}$ ergs s$^{-1}$ cm$^{-2}$, which is about an order of magnitude lower than standard narrowband observations obtained by the most recent generation of local H$\alpha$ galaxy surveys. Read More

Chemical reactions at ultracold temperatures are expected to be dominated by quantum mechanical effects. Although progress towards ultracold chemistry has been made through atomic photoassociation, Feshbach resonances and bimolecular collisions, these approaches have been limited by imperfect quantum state selectivity. In particular, attaining complete control of the ground or excited continuum quantum states has remained a challenge. Read More

We present a detection of the enhancement in the number densities of background galaxies induced from lensing magnification and use it to test the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) inferred masses in a sample of 19 galaxy clusters with median redshift $z\simeq0.42$ selected from the South Pole Telescope SPT-SZ survey. Two background galaxy populations are selected for this study through their photometric colours; they have median redshifts ${z}_{\mathrm{median}}\simeq0. Read More

We report on the highest precision yet achieved in the measurement of the polarization of a low energy, $\mathcal{O}$(1 GeV), electron beam, accomplished using a new polarimeter based on electron-photon scattering, in Hall~C at Jefferson Lab. A number of technical innovations were necessary, including a novel method for precise control of the laser polarization in a cavity and a novel diamond micro-strip detector which was able to capture most of the spectrum of scattered electrons. The data analysis technique exploited track finding, the high granularity of the detector and its large acceptance. Read More

We present a multi-wavelength study of 90 brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) in a sample of galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect by the South Pole Telescope, utilizing data from various ground- and space-based facilities. We infer the star formation rate (SFR) for the BCG in each cluster, based on the UV and IR continuum luminosity, as well as the [O II] emission line luminosity in cases where spectroscopy is available, finding 7 systems with SFR > 100 Msun/yr. We find that the BCG SFR exceeds 10 Msun/yr in 31 of 90 (34%) cases at 0. Read More

We present new ultraviolet, optical, and X-ray data on the Phoenix galaxy cluster (SPT-CLJ2344-4243). Deep optical imaging reveals previously-undetected filaments of star formation, extending to radii of ~50-100 kpc in multiple directions. Combined UV-optical spectroscopy of the central galaxy reveals a massive (2x10^9 Msun)), young (~4. Read More

We cross-match galaxy cluster candidates selected via their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) signatures in 129.1 deg$^2$ of the South Pole Telescope 2500d SPT-SZ survey with optically identified clusters selected from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) science verification data. We identify 25 clusters between $0. Read More

We present a multiwavelength morphological analysis of star forming clouds and filaments in the central ($< 50$ kpc) regions of 16 low redshift ($z<0.3$) cool core brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). New Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging of far ultraviolet continuum emission from young ($\sim 10$ Myr), massive ($> 5$ \Msol) stars reveals filamentary and clumpy morphologies, which we quantify by means of structural indices. Read More

In weakly bound diatomic molecules, energy levels are closely spaced and thus more susceptible to mixing by magnetic fields than in the constituent atoms. We use this effect to control the strengths of forbidden optical transitions in $^{88}$Sr$_2$ over 5 orders of magnitude with modest fields by taking advantage of the intercombination-line threshold. The physics behind this remarkable tunability is accurately explained with both a simple model and quantum chemistry calculations, and suggests new possibilities for molecular clocks. Read More

Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) surveys find massive clusters of galaxies by measuring the inverse Compton scattering of cosmic microwave background off of intra-cluster gas. The cluster selection function from such surveys is expected to be nearly independent of redshift and cluster astrophysics. In this work, we estimate the effect on the observed SZ signal of centrally-peaked gas density profiles (cool cores) and radio emission from the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) by creating mock observations of a sample of clusters that span the observed range of classical cooling rates and radio luminosities. Read More

The study of ultracold molecules tightly trapped in an optical lattice can expand the frontier of precision measurement and spectroscopy, and provide a deeper insight into molecular and fundamental physics. Here we create, probe, and image microkelvin $^{88}$Sr$_2$ molecules in a lattice, and demonstrate precise measurements of molecular parameters as well as coherent control of molecular quantum states using optical fields. We discuss the sensitivity of the system to dimensional effects, a new bound-to-continuum spectroscopy technique for highly accurate binding energy measurements, and prospects for new physics with this rich experimental system. Read More

Networks are a convenient way to represent complex systems of interacting entities. Many networks contain "communities" of nodes that are more densely connected to each other than to nodes in the rest of the network. In this paper, we investigate the detection of communities in temporal networks represented as multilayer networks. Read More

We present a detailed investigation of the cluster stellar mass-to-light (M*/L) ratio and cumulative stellar masses, derived on a galaxy-by-galaxy basis, for 12 massive (M500 ~ 10^14 - 10^15 Msun), nearby clusters with available optical imaging data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10 and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Our method involves a statistical cluster membership using both photometric and spectroscopic redshifts when available to maximize completeness whilst minimizing contamination effects. We show that different methods of estimating the stellar mass-to-light ratio from observed photometry result in systematic discrepancies in the total stellar masses and average mass-to-light ratios of cluster galaxies. Read More

We study the stellar, Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG) and intracluster medium (ICM) masses of 14 South Pole Telescope (SPT) selected galaxy clusters with median redshift $z=0.9$ and median mass $M_{500}=6\times10^{14}M_{\odot}$. We estimate stellar masses for each cluster and BCG using six photometric bands spanning the range from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared observed with the VLT, HST and Spitzer. Read More

Clusters of galaxies are expected to gravitationally lens the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and thereby generate a distinct signal in the CMB on arcminute scales. Measurements of this effect can be used to constrain the masses of galaxy clusters with CMB data alone. Here we present a measurement of lensing of the CMB by galaxy clusters using data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT). Read More

Many microbes associate with higher eukaryotes and impact their vitality. In order to engineer microbiomes for host benefit, we must understand the rules of community assembly and maintenence, which in large part, demands an understanding of the direct interactions between community members. Toward this end, we've developed a Poisson-multivariate normal hierarchical model to learn direct interactions from the count-based output of standard metagenomics sequencing experiments. Read More

While the cooling of the hot intra-cluster medium (ICM) in the cores of galaxy clusters is mostly counteracted by heating from the central active galactic nucleus (AGN), the balance is not perfect. This can lead to residual cooling flows and low-level star formation, the physics of which is not well understood. Here we present a detailed study of the residual cooling flow in the center of the low mass galaxy cluster Sersic 159-03 (A S1101) using far-ultraviolet imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope and far-infrared (FIR) spectroscopy and photometry from the Herschel space observatory, along with a wealth of archival data. Read More

We present new low-frequency observations of the nearby radio galaxy Fornax A at 154 MHz with the Murchison Widefield Array, microwave flux-density measurements obtained from WMAP and Planck data, and gamma-ray flux densities obtained from Fermi data. We also compile a comprehensive list of previously published images and flux-density measurements at radio, microwave and X-ray energies. A detailed analysis of the spectrum of Fornax A between 154 MHz and 1510 MHz reveals that both radio lobes have a similar spatially-averaged spectral index, and that there exists a steep-spectrum bridge of diffuse emission between the lobes. Read More

We present CARMA 30 GHz Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) observations of five high-redshift ($z \gtrsim 1$), infrared-selected galaxy clusters discovered as part of the all-sky Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE Survey (MaDCoWS). The SZ decrements measured toward these clusters demonstrate that the MaDCoWS selection is discovering evolved, massive galaxy clusters with hot intracluster gas. Using the SZ scaling relation calibrated with South Pole Telescope clusters at similar masses and redshifts, we find these MaDCoWS clusters have masses in the range $M_{200} \approx 2-6 \times 10^{14}$ $M_\odot$. Read More

Our proximity and external vantage point make M31 an ideal testbed for understanding the structure of spiral galaxies. The Andromeda Optical and Infrared Disk Survey (ANDROIDS) has mapped M31's bulge and disk out to R=40 kpc in $ugriJK_s$ bands with CFHT using a careful sky calibration. We use Bayesian modelling of the optical-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) to estimate profiles of M31's stellar populations and mass along the major axis. Read More