The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich temperature of the intracluster medium

Kay, Scott T.
Powell, Leila C.
Liddle, Andrew R.
Thomas, Peter A.
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The relativistic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect offers a method, independent of X-ray, for measuring the temperature of the intracluster medium (ICM) in the hottest systems. Here, using N-body/hydrodynamic simulations of three galaxy clusters, we compare the two quantities for a non-radiative ICM, and for one that is subject both to radiative cooling and strong energy feedback from galaxies. Our study has yielded two interesting results. Firstly, in all cases, the SZ temperature is hotter than the X-ray temperature and is within ten per cent of the virial temperature of the cluster. Secondly, the mean SZ temperature is less affected by cooling and feedback than the X-ray temperature. Both these results can be explained by the SZ temperature being less sensitive to the distribution of cool gas associated with cluster substructure. A comparison of the SZ and X-ray temperatures (measured for a sample of hot clusters) would therefore yield interesting constraints on the thermodynamic structure of the intracluster gas.
Comment: This version accepted for publication in MNRAS following minor revision