Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Nils W. Halverson
James C. Green
The South Pole Telescope is a millimeter-wavelength telescope with a 10-m primary aperture, located at the geographic South Pole, Antarctica, designed to measure faint anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with high sensitivity. Since the telescope’s deployment in 2007, three different multichroic cameras have been installed and undertaken observations: SPT-SZ (2008–2011), SPTpol (2012–2016), and SPT-3G (2017–current). In this thesis, we present a catalog and number statistics of 4841 compact, emissive sources detected in the 2500-square-degree SPT- SZ sky survey, representing the third and final compact source catalog release from SPT-SZ. Point sources bright at millimeter wavelengths fall generally into two types of physical objects, which can be separated in the SPT-SZ data using their measured spectral behavior in the SPT-SZ bands: AGN, observable via synchrotron radiation, and dusty star-forming galaxies, often undetectable in optical wavelengths but bright in millimeter wavelengths due to thermal emission from dust. Millimeter wavelengths are particularly powerful for detecting high redshift dusty galaxies, as their flux benefits from negative K-correction with increasing redshift. For large-area surveys probing the brightest and rarest objects, many of these sources are known to be gravitationally lensed, providing a powerful probe of these high redshift objects. We also present work undertaken to aid in deployment of a new, polarization-sensitive camera for the SPT, SPT-3G, with the goal of increasing the number of detectors in the focal plane to of order 15,000, an order of magnitude increase relative to the previous camera, SPTpol. We detail methods employed prior to deployment to characterize bolometer performance at CU Boulder both to inform the development of detector fabrication and predict the performance of the deployed focal plane for SPT-3G. We also overview bolometer parameters, as well as expected and achieved performance of the focal planes deployed in the first and second years of SPT-3G operation. Currently in its third year of operation, SPT-3G is in the midst of undertaking a five year survey of 1500 square degrees of sky area, expected to map to a depth of 3, 2, 9 μK-arcmin in temperature at 95, 150, 220 GHz, respectively, and a factor of sqrt(2) higher in polarization.
Everett, Wendeline Bray, "Point Source Analysis, Hardware Development, and Focal Plane Characterization for the South Pole Telescope" (2019). Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 60.