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The Evolution of Galaxy Clustering at 1<z<2

Richard Elston (U. Fl.)
S. Stanford (IGPP/LLNL)
P. Eisenhardt (JPL)
J. Mohr (U. Ill.)
A. Dey (NOAO)
B. Jannuzi (NOAO)
D. Stern (JPL)
K. Wu (U. Fl.)
M. Dickinson, (STSCI)
K. McFarland, (U. Fl.)
E. McKenzie, (U. Fl.)
S. N. Raines, (U. Fl.)

Distant clusters of galaxies provide unique insight into cosmology, the formation of large scale structure, and the formation and evolution of galaxies. We propose to conduct a deep near-IR survey covering 10 deg2 within the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey (NDWFS) regions, identifying and studying clusters with redshifts in the critical range between 1 and 2. Models indicate we would find ~1200 clusters with a virial mass >1014 h-165 M(solar) and should detect ~500 at z > 1. The redshift range between 1 and 2 is of particular interest since it is during this interval that we expect rapid evolution of the cluster population. Direct measurement of the evolution of the numbers of clusters in this range will provide constraints to both cosmological parameters and large scale structure formation models. 1 < z < 2 also is the redshift range over which we expect the density- morphology relationship to be established. The evolution of both the cluster luminosity function and the color-magnitude relation will clearly differentiate the competing theories of monolithic collapse and hierarchical formation for cluster galaxies. The deep near-IR data will be very useful for a wide range of other programs and will complement planned studies of the NDWFS regions with SIRTF, Chandra, and major radio observatories.