XMM-Newton 2012 Science Workshop - Galaxy Clusters as Giant Cosmic Laboratories
Galaxy clusters are interesting astrophysical laboratories to study large-scale physical processes and important probes to assess the structure and evolution of our Universe. X-ray observations provide the most detailed insight into structure, composition, and evolution of galaxy clusters.
Since the launch of the XMM-Newton and Chandra observatories, our understanding of galaxy clusters has impressively improved including paradigm changes like the physics of cooling cluster centres and the description of galaxy clusters as a tightly constrained self-similar family of objects. During this period, galaxy clusters have also helped to define the quite precisely described Concordance Cosmology Model, and they have shown how the intergalactic medium is enriched by heavy elements over the last half of the age of the Universe. Observations with XMM-Newton, Chandra and SUZAKU have been essential for this progress and after a little more than a decade, a detailed picture of galaxy clusters has crystallised, well worth to be critically reviewed and discussed at a topical workshop.