Recent Postings from Cosmology and Extragalactic

Searching for A Generic Gravitational Wave Background via Bayesian Nonparametric Analysis with Pulsar Timing Arrays

Gravitational wave background results from the superposition of gravitational waves generated from all sources across the Universe. Previous efforts on detecting such a background with pulsar timing arrays assume it is an isotropic Gaussian background with a power law spectrum. However, when the number of sources is limited, the background might be non-Gaussian or the spectrum might not be a power law. Correspondingly previous analysis may not work effectively. Here we use a method — Bayesian Nonparametric Analysis — to try to detect a generic gravitational wave background, which directly sets constraints on the feasible shapes of the pulsar timing signals induced by a gravitational wave background and allows more flexible forms of the background. Our Bayesian nonparametric analysis will infer if a gravitational wave background is present in the data, and also estimate the parameters that characterize the background. This method will be much more effective than the conventional one assuming the background spectrum follows a power law in general cases. While the context of our discussion focuses on pulsar timing arrays, the analysis itself is directly applicable to detect and characterize any signals that arise from the superposition of a large number of astrophysical events.

Searching for A Generic Gravitational Wave Background via Bayesian Nonparametric Analysis with Pulsar Timing Arrays [Cross-Listing]

Gravitational wave background results from the superposition of gravitational waves generated from all sources across the Universe. Previous efforts on detecting such a background with pulsar timing arrays assume it is an isotropic Gaussian background with a power law spectrum. However, when the number of sources is limited, the background might be non-Gaussian or the spectrum might not be a power law. Correspondingly previous analysis may not work effectively. Here we use a method — Bayesian Nonparametric Analysis — to try to detect a generic gravitational wave background, which directly sets constraints on the feasible shapes of the pulsar timing signals induced by a gravitational wave background and allows more flexible forms of the background. Our Bayesian nonparametric analysis will infer if a gravitational wave background is present in the data, and also estimate the parameters that characterize the background. This method will be much more effective than the conventional one assuming the background spectrum follows a power law in general cases. While the context of our discussion focuses on pulsar timing arrays, the analysis itself is directly applicable to detect and characterize any signals that arise from the superposition of a large number of astrophysical events.

Kadanoff-Baym Approach to Flavour Mixing and Oscillations in Resonant Leptogenesis

We describe a loopwise perturbative truncation scheme for quantum transport equations in the Kadanoff-Baym formalism, which does not necessitate the use of the so-called Kadanoff-Baym or quasi-particle ansaetze for dressed propagators. This truncation scheme is used to study flavour effects in the context of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL), showing explicitly that, in the weakly-resonant regime, there exist two distinct and pertinent flavour effects in the heavy-neutrino sector: (i) the resonant mixing and (ii) the oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours. Moreover, we illustrate that Kadanoff-Baym and quasi-particle ansaetze, whilst appropriate for the flavour-singlet dressed charged-lepton and Higgs propagators of the RL scenario, should not be applied to the dressed heavy-neutrino propagators. The use of these approximations for the latter is shown to capture only flavour oscillations, whilst discarding the separate phenomenon of flavour mixing.

Kadanoff-Baym Approach to Flavour Mixing and Oscillations in Resonant Leptogenesis [Cross-Listing]

We describe a loopwise perturbative truncation scheme for quantum transport equations in the Kadanoff-Baym formalism, which does not necessitate the use of the so-called Kadanoff-Baym or quasi-particle ansaetze for dressed propagators. This truncation scheme is used to study flavour effects in the context of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL), showing explicitly that, in the weakly-resonant regime, there exist two distinct and pertinent flavour effects in the heavy-neutrino sector: (i) the resonant mixing and (ii) the oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours. Moreover, we illustrate that Kadanoff-Baym and quasi-particle ansaetze, whilst appropriate for the flavour-singlet dressed charged-lepton and Higgs propagators of the RL scenario, should not be applied to the dressed heavy-neutrino propagators. The use of these approximations for the latter is shown to capture only flavour oscillations, whilst discarding the separate phenomenon of flavour mixing.

Kadanoff-Baym Approach to Flavour Mixing and Oscillations in Resonant Leptogenesis [Cross-Listing]

We describe a loopwise perturbative truncation scheme for quantum transport equations in the Kadanoff-Baym formalism, which does not necessitate the use of the so-called Kadanoff-Baym or quasi-particle ansaetze for dressed propagators. This truncation scheme is used to study flavour effects in the context of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL), showing explicitly that, in the weakly-resonant regime, there exist two distinct and pertinent flavour effects in the heavy-neutrino sector: (i) the resonant mixing and (ii) the oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours. Moreover, we illustrate that Kadanoff-Baym and quasi-particle ansaetze, whilst appropriate for the flavour-singlet dressed charged-lepton and Higgs propagators of the RL scenario, should not be applied to the dressed heavy-neutrino propagators. The use of these approximations for the latter is shown to capture only flavour oscillations, whilst discarding the separate phenomenon of flavour mixing.

K-essential covariant holography

The holographic principle is applied to a flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker space-time dominated by dark energy when this is due to the presence of a k-essence scalar field, both for dark energy and phantom scenarios. In this framework, a geometrical covariant approach permits the construction of holographic hypersurfaces. The resulting covariant preferred screens, both for phantom and non-phantom regions, are then compared with those obtained by using the holographic dark energy model with the future event horizon as the infrared cut-off. In the phantom case, one of the two obtained holographic screens is placed on the big rip hypersurface, both for the covariant holographic formalism and the holographic phantom model. It is also analysed whether this covariant formalism allows a mathematically consistent formulation of fundamental theories based on the existence of a S-matrix at infinite distances.

K-essential covariant holography [Cross-Listing]

The holographic principle is applied to a flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker space-time dominated by dark energy when this is due to the presence of a k-essence scalar field, both for dark energy and phantom scenarios. In this framework, a geometrical covariant approach permits the construction of holographic hypersurfaces. The resulting covariant preferred screens, both for phantom and non-phantom regions, are then compared with those obtained by using the holographic dark energy model with the future event horizon as the infrared cut-off. In the phantom case, one of the two obtained holographic screens is placed on the big rip hypersurface, both for the covariant holographic formalism and the holographic phantom model. It is also analysed whether this covariant formalism allows a mathematically consistent formulation of fundamental theories based on the existence of a S-matrix at infinite distances.

K-essential covariant holography [Cross-Listing]

The holographic principle is applied to a flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker space-time dominated by dark energy when this is due to the presence of a k-essence scalar field, both for dark energy and phantom scenarios. In this framework, a geometrical covariant approach permits the construction of holographic hypersurfaces. The resulting covariant preferred screens, both for phantom and non-phantom regions, are then compared with those obtained by using the holographic dark energy model with the future event horizon as the infrared cut-off. In the phantom case, one of the two obtained holographic screens is placed on the big rip hypersurface, both for the covariant holographic formalism and the holographic phantom model. It is also analysed whether this covariant formalism allows a mathematically consistent formulation of fundamental theories based on the existence of a S-matrix at infinite distances.

Is PLANCK consistent with primordial deuterium measurements ?

The recent measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropies provided by the Planck satellite experiment have significantly improved the constraints on several cosmological parameters. In this brief paper we point out a small but interesting tension present between recent values of the primordial deuterium measured from quasar absorption line systems and the same value inferred, albeit indirectly, from the Planck measurements assuming {\Lambda}CDM and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. Here we discuss this tension in detail investigating the possible new physics that could be responsible for the tension. We found that, among 8 extra parameters, only an anomalous lensing component and a closed universe could change the Planck constraint towards a better consistency with direct deuterium measurements.

B-mode in CMB polarization. What's that and why it is interesting

Generation of the B-mode of CMB polarization by background of relic gravitational wave is discussed in connection with the BICEP2 measurements. Description of the polarization maps in terms of the eigenvectors of the polarization matrix is considered.

Discovery of a New Galactic Center Excess Consistent with Upscattered Starlight [Cross-Listing]

We present a new extended gamma ray excess toward the Galactic Center that traces the 3.4 micron infrared emission morphology. Combined with its measured spectrum, this new extended source is consistent with inverse Compton emission from a high-energy electron-positron population with energies up to about 10 GeV. Previously detected emissions tracing the 20 cm radio, interpreted as bremsstrahlung radiation, and the Galactic Center Extended emission tracing a spherical distribution and peaking at 2 GeV, are also detected. We show that the inverse Compton and bremsstrahlung emissions are likely due to the same source of electrons and positrons. All three extended emissions may be explained within the framework of a model where the dark matter annihilates to leptons or a model with unresolved millisecond pulsars in the Galactic Center.

Discovery of a New Galactic Center Excess Consistent with Upscattered Starlight

We present a new extended gamma ray excess toward the Galactic Center that traces the 3.4 micron infrared emission morphology. Combined with its measured spectrum, this new extended source is consistent with inverse Compton emission from a high-energy electron-positron population with energies up to about 10 GeV. Previously detected emissions tracing the 20 cm radio, interpreted as bremsstrahlung radiation, and the Galactic Center Extended emission tracing a spherical distribution and peaking at 2 GeV, are also detected. We show that the inverse Compton and bremsstrahlung emissions are likely due to the same source of electrons and positrons. All three extended emissions may be explained within the framework of a model where the dark matter annihilates to leptons or a model with unresolved millisecond pulsars in the Galactic Center.

What is the probability that direct detection experiments have observed Dark Matter?

In Dark Matter direct detection we are facing the situation of some experiments reporting positive signals which are in conflict with limits from other experiments. Such conclusions are subject to large uncertainties introduced by the poorly known local Dark Matter distribution. We present a method to calculate an upper bound on the joint probability of obtaining the outcome of two potentially conflicting experiments under the assumption that the Dark Matter hypothesis is correct, but completely independent of assumptions about the Dark Matter distribution. In this way we can quantify the compatibility of two experiments in an astrophysics independent way. We illustrate our method by testing the compatibility of the hints reported by DAMA and CDMS-Si with the limits from the LUX and SuperCDMS experiments. The method does not require Monte Carlo simulations but is mostly based on using Poisson statistics. In order to deal with signals of few events we introduce the so-called "signal length" to take into account energy information without the need of binning data. The signal length method provides a simple way to calculate the probability to obtain a given experimental outcome under a specified Dark Matter and background hypothesis.

What is the probability that direct detection experiments have observed Dark Matter? [Cross-Listing]

In Dark Matter direct detection we are facing the situation of some experiments reporting positive signals which are in conflict with limits from other experiments. Such conclusions are subject to large uncertainties introduced by the poorly known local Dark Matter distribution. We present a method to calculate an upper bound on the joint probability of obtaining the outcome of two potentially conflicting experiments under the assumption that the Dark Matter hypothesis is correct, but completely independent of assumptions about the Dark Matter distribution. In this way we can quantify the compatibility of two experiments in an astrophysics independent way. We illustrate our method by testing the compatibility of the hints reported by DAMA and CDMS-Si with the limits from the LUX and SuperCDMS experiments. The method does not require Monte Carlo simulations but is mostly based on using Poisson statistics. In order to deal with signals of few events we introduce the so-called "signal length" to take into account energy information without the need of binning data. The signal length method provides a simple way to calculate the probability to obtain a given experimental outcome under a specified Dark Matter and background hypothesis.

UltraViolet Freeze-in [Cross-Listing]

If dark matter is thermally decoupled from the visible sector, the observed relic density can potentially be obtained via freeze-in production of dark matter. Typically in such models it is assumed that the dark matter is connected to the thermal bath through feeble renormalisable interactions. Here, rather, we consider the case in which the hidden and visible sectors are coupled only via non-renormalisable operators. This is arguably a more generic realisation of the dark matter freeze-in scenario, as it does not require the introduction of diminutive renormalisable couplings. We examine general aspects of freeze-in via non-renormalisable operators in a number of toy models and present several motivated implementations in the context of Beyond the Standard Model physics. Specifically, we study models related to the Peccei-Quinn mechanism and Z’ portals.

UltraViolet Freeze-in

If dark matter is thermally decoupled from the visible sector, the observed relic density can potentially be obtained via freeze-in production of dark matter. Typically in such models it is assumed that the dark matter is connected to the thermal bath through feeble renormalisable interactions. Here, rather, we consider the case in which the hidden and visible sectors are coupled only via non-renormalisable operators. This is arguably a more generic realisation of the dark matter freeze-in scenario, as it does not require the introduction of diminutive renormalisable couplings. We examine general aspects of freeze-in via non-renormalisable operators in a number of toy models and present several motivated implementations in the context of Beyond the Standard Model physics. Specifically, we study models related to the Peccei-Quinn mechanism and Z’ portals.

Exceptional AGN-driven turbulence inhibits star formation in the 3C 326N radio-galaxy

We detect bright [CII]158$\mu$m line emission from the radio galaxy 3C 326N at z=0.09, which shows weak star formation ($SFR<0.07$M$_{\odot}$~yr$^{-1}$) despite having strong H$_2$ line emission and $2\times 10^9$M$_{\odot}$ of molecular gas. The [CII] line is twice as strong as the 0-0S(1) 17$\mu$m H$_2$ line, and both lines are much in excess what is expected from UV heating. We combine infrared Spitzer and Herschel data with gas and dust modeling to infer the gas physical conditions. The [CII] line traces 30 to 50% of the molecular gas mass, which is warm (70<T<100K) and at moderate densities $700<n_{H}<3000$cm$^{-3}$. The [CII] line is broad with a blue-shifted wing, and likely to be shaped by a combination of rotation, outflowing gas, and turbulence. It matches the near-infrared H$_2$ and the Na D optical absorption lines. If the wing is interpreted as an outflow, the mass loss rate would be larger than 20M$_{\odot}$/yr, and the depletion timescale shorter than the orbital timescale ($10^8$yr). These outflow rates may be over-estimated because the stochastic injection of turbulence on galactic scales can contribute to the skewness of the line profile and mimic outflowing gas. We argue that the dissipation of turbulence is the main heating process of this gas. Cosmic rays can also contribute to the heating but they require an average gas density larger than the observational constraints. We show that strong turbulent support maintains a high gas vertical scale height (0.3-4kpc) in the disk and can inhibit the formation of gravitationally-bound structures at all scales, offering a natural explanation for the weakness of star formation in 3C 326N. To conclude, the bright [CII] line indicates that strong AGN jet-driven turbulence may play a key role in enhancing the amount of molecular gas (positive feedback) but yet can prevent star formation on galactic scales (negative feedback).

Gaussian Approximation of Peak Values in the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect

The accelerating expansion of the universe at recent epochs is encoded in the cosmic microwave background: a few percent of the total temperature fluctuations are generated by evolving gravitational potentials which trace the large-scale structures in the universe. This signature of dark energy, the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect, has been detected by averaging temperatures in the WMAP sky maps corresponding to the directions of superstructures in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data release 6. We model the maximum average peak signal expected in the standard $\Lambda$CDM cosmological model, using Gaussian random realizations of the microwave sky, including correlations between different physical contributions to the temperature fluctuations and between different redshift ranges of the evolving gravitational potentials. We find good agreement with the mean temperature peak amplitude from previous theoretical estimates based on large-scale structure simulations, but with larger statistical uncertainties. We apply our simulation pipeline to four different foreground-cleaned microwave temperature maps from Planck and WMAP data, finding a mean temperature peak signal at previously identified sky locations which exceeds our theoretical mean signal at a statistical significance of about $2.5\sigma$ and which differs from a null signal at $3.5\sigma$.

Unification of inflation and dark energy {\it \`a la} quintessential inflation

This pedagogical review is devoted to quintessential inflation, which refers to unification of inflation and dark energy using a single scalar field. We present a brief but concise description of the concepts needed to join the two ends, which include discussion on scalar field dynamic, conformal coupling, instant preheating and relic gravitational waves. Models of quintessential inflation broadly fall into two classes, depending upon the early and late time behavior of the field potential. In the first type we include models in which the field potential is steep for most of the history of the Universe but turn shallow at late times, whereas in the second type the potential is shallow at early times followed by a steep behavior thereafter. In models of the first category inflation can be realized by invoking high-energy brane-induced damping, which is needed to facilitate slow roll along a steep potential. In models of second type one may invoke a non-minimal coupling of the scalar field with massive neutrino matter, which might induce a minimum in the potential at late times as neutrinos turn non-relativistic. In this category we review a class of models with non-canonical kinetic term in the Lagrangian, which can comply with recent B mode polarization measurements. The scenario under consideration is distinguished by the presence of a kinetic phase, which precedes the radiative regime, giving rise to blue spectrum of gravity waves generated during inflation. We highlight the generic features of quintessential inflation and also discuss on issues related to Lyth bound.

Unification of inflation and dark energy {\it \`a la} quintessential inflation [Cross-Listing]

This pedagogical review is devoted to quintessential inflation, which refers to unification of inflation and dark energy using a single scalar field. We present a brief but concise description of the concepts needed to join the two ends, which include discussion on scalar field dynamic, conformal coupling, instant preheating and relic gravitational waves. Models of quintessential inflation broadly fall into two classes, depending upon the early and late time behavior of the field potential. In the first type we include models in which the field potential is steep for most of the history of the Universe but turn shallow at late times, whereas in the second type the potential is shallow at early times followed by a steep behavior thereafter. In models of the first category inflation can be realized by invoking high-energy brane-induced damping, which is needed to facilitate slow roll along a steep potential. In models of second type one may invoke a non-minimal coupling of the scalar field with massive neutrino matter, which might induce a minimum in the potential at late times as neutrinos turn non-relativistic. In this category we review a class of models with non-canonical kinetic term in the Lagrangian, which can comply with recent B mode polarization measurements. The scenario under consideration is distinguished by the presence of a kinetic phase, which precedes the radiative regime, giving rise to blue spectrum of gravity waves generated during inflation. We highlight the generic features of quintessential inflation and also discuss on issues related to Lyth bound.

Unification of inflation and dark energy {\it \`a la} quintessential inflation [Cross-Listing]

This pedagogical review is devoted to quintessential inflation, which refers to unification of inflation and dark energy using a single scalar field. We present a brief but concise description of the concepts needed to join the two ends, which include discussion on scalar field dynamic, conformal coupling, instant preheating and relic gravitational waves. Models of quintessential inflation broadly fall into two classes, depending upon the early and late time behavior of the field potential. In the first type we include models in which the field potential is steep for most of the history of the Universe but turn shallow at late times, whereas in the second type the potential is shallow at early times followed by a steep behavior thereafter. In models of the first category inflation can be realized by invoking high-energy brane-induced damping, which is needed to facilitate slow roll along a steep potential. In models of second type one may invoke a non-minimal coupling of the scalar field with massive neutrino matter, which might induce a minimum in the potential at late times as neutrinos turn non-relativistic. In this category we review a class of models with non-canonical kinetic term in the Lagrangian, which can comply with recent B mode polarization measurements. The scenario under consideration is distinguished by the presence of a kinetic phase, which precedes the radiative regime, giving rise to blue spectrum of gravity waves generated during inflation. We highlight the generic features of quintessential inflation and also discuss on issues related to Lyth bound.

Holographic bounds and finite inflation

We compare two holographic arguments that impose especially strong bounds on the amount of inflation. One comes from the de Sitter Equilibrium cosmology and the other from the work of Banks and Fischler. We find that simple versions of these two approaches yield the same bound on the number of e-foldings. A careful examination reveals that while these pictures are similar in spirit, they are not necessarily identical prescriptions. We apply the two pictures to specific cosmologies which expose potentially important differences and which also demonstrate ways these seemingly simple proposals can be tricky to implement in practice.

Holographic bounds and finite inflation [Cross-Listing]

We compare two holographic arguments that impose especially strong bounds on the amount of inflation. One comes from the de Sitter Equilibrium cosmology and the other from the work of Banks and Fischler. We find that simple versions of these two approaches yield the same bound on the number of e-foldings. A careful examination reveals that while these pictures are similar in spirit, they are not necessarily identical prescriptions. We apply the two pictures to specific cosmologies which expose potentially important differences and which also demonstrate ways these seemingly simple proposals can be tricky to implement in practice.

Holographic bounds and finite inflation [Cross-Listing]

We compare two holographic arguments that impose especially strong bounds on the amount of inflation. One comes from the de Sitter Equilibrium cosmology and the other from the work of Banks and Fischler. We find that simple versions of these two approaches yield the same bound on the number of e-foldings. A careful examination reveals that while these pictures are similar in spirit, they are not necessarily identical prescriptions. We apply the two pictures to specific cosmologies which expose potentially important differences and which also demonstrate ways these seemingly simple proposals can be tricky to implement in practice.

Comparing gravitational redshifts of SDSS galaxy clusters with the magnification redshift enhancement of background BOSS galaxies

A clean measurement of the evolution of the galaxy cluster mass function can significantly improve our understanding of cosmology from the rapid growth of cluster masses below z < 0.5. Here we examine the consistency of cluster catalogues selected from the SDSS by applying two independent gravity-based methods using all available spectroscopic redshifts from the DR10 release. First, we detect a gravitational redshift related signal for 20,119 and 13,128 clusters with spectroscopic redshifts contained in the GMBCG and redMaPPer catalogues, respectively, at a level of $\sim – 10$ km s$^{-1}$. This we show is consistent with the magnitude expected using the richness-mass relations provided by the literature and after applying recently clarified relativistic and flux bias corrections. This signal is also consistent with the richest clusters in the larger catalogue of Wen et al. (2012), corresponding to $M_{200m} \gtrsim 2 \times 10^{14}\,\mathrm{M}_\odot\,h^{-1}$, however we find no significant detection of gravitational redshift signal for less riched clusters, which may be related to bulk motions from substructure and spurious cluster detections. Second, we find all three catalogues generate mass-dependent levels of lensing magnification bias, which enhances the mean redshift of flux-selected background galaxies from the BOSS survey. The magnitude of this lensing effect is generally consistent with the corresponding richness-mass relations advocated for the surveys. We conclude that all catalogues comprise a high proportion of reliable clusters, and that the GMBCG and redMaPPer cluster finder algorithms favor more relaxed clusters with a meaningful gravitational redshift signal, as anticipated by the red-sequence colour selection of the GMBCG and redMaPPer samples.

IceCube events and decaying dark matter: hints and constraints [Cross-Listing]

In the light of the new IceCube data on the (yet unidentified) astrophysical neutrino flux in the PeV and sub-PeV range, we present an update on the status of decaying dark matter interpretation of the events. In particular, we develop further the angular distribution analysis and discuss the perspectives for diagnostics. By performing various statistical tests (maximum likelihood, Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Anderson-Darling tests) we conclude that currently the data show a mild preference (below the two sigma level) for the angular distribution expected from dark matter decay vs. the isotropic distribution foreseen for a conventional $E_\nu^{-2}$ astrophysical flux of extragalactic origin. Also, we briefly develop some general considerations on heavy dark matter model building and on the compatibility of the expected energy spectrum of decay products with the IceCube data, as well as with existing bounds from gamma-rays. Alternatively, assuming that the IceCube data originate from conventional astrophysical sources, we derive bounds on both decaying and annihilating dark matter for various final states. The lower limits on heavy dark matter lifetime improve by up to an order of magnitude with respect to existing constraints, definitively making these events—even if astrophysical in origin—an important tool for astroparticle physics studies.

IceCube events and decaying dark matter: hints and constraints

In the light of the new IceCube data on the (yet unidentified) astrophysical neutrino flux in the PeV and sub-PeV range, we present an update on the status of decaying dark matter interpretation of the events. In particular, we develop further the angular distribution analysis and discuss the perspectives for diagnostics. By performing various statistical tests (maximum likelihood, Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Anderson-Darling tests) we conclude that currently the data show a mild preference (below the two sigma level) for the angular distribution expected from dark matter decay vs. the isotropic distribution foreseen for a conventional $E_\nu^{-2}$ astrophysical flux of extragalactic origin. Also, we briefly develop some general considerations on heavy dark matter model building and on the compatibility of the expected energy spectrum of decay products with the IceCube data, as well as with existing bounds from gamma-rays. Alternatively, assuming that the IceCube data originate from conventional astrophysical sources, we derive bounds on both decaying and annihilating dark matter for various final states. The lower limits on heavy dark matter lifetime improve by up to an order of magnitude with respect to existing constraints, definitively making these events—even if astrophysical in origin—an important tool for astroparticle physics studies.

Superheavy Dark Matter in Light of Dark Radiation [Cross-Listing]

Superheavy dark matter can satisfy the observed dark matter abundance if the stability condition is fulfilled. Here, we propose a new Abelian gauge symmetry ${\rm U(1)}_H$ for the stability of superheavy dark matter as the electromagnetic gauge symmetry to the electron. The new gauge boson associated with ${\rm U(1)}_H$ contributes to the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom in the universe as dark radiation, which has been recently measured by several experiments, e.g., PLANCK. We calculate the contribution to dark radiation from the decay of a scalar particle via the superheavy dark matter in the loop. Interestingly enough, this scenario will be probed by a future LHC run in the invisible decay signatures of the Higgs boson.

Superheavy Dark Matter in Light of Dark Radiation

Superheavy dark matter can satisfy the observed dark matter abundance if the stability condition is fulfilled. Here, we propose a new Abelian gauge symmetry ${\rm U(1)}_H$ for the stability of superheavy dark matter as the electromagnetic gauge symmetry to the electron. The new gauge boson associated with ${\rm U(1)}_H$ contributes to the effective number of relativistic degrees of freedom in the universe as dark radiation, which has been recently measured by several experiments, e.g., PLANCK. We calculate the contribution to dark radiation from the decay of a scalar particle via the superheavy dark matter in the loop. Interestingly enough, this scenario will be probed by a future LHC run in the invisible decay signatures of the Higgs boson.

Banana Split: Testing the Dark Energy Consistency with Geometry and Growth

We perform parametric tests of the consistency of the standard $w$CDM model in the framework of General Relativity by carefully separating information between the geometry and growth of structure. We replace each late-universe parameter that describes the behavior of dark energy with two parameters: one describing geometrical information in cosmological probes, and the other controlling the growth of structure. We use data from all principal cosmological probes: of these, Type Ia supernovae, baryon acoustic oscillations, and the peak locations in the cosmic microwave background angular power spectrum constrain the geometry, while the redshift space distortions, weak gravitational lensing and the abundance of galaxy clusters constrain both geometry and growth. Both geometry and growth separately favor the $\Lambda$CDM cosmology with the matter density relative to critical $\Omega_M\simeq 0.3$. When the equation of state is allowed to vary separately for probes of growth and geometry, we find again a good agreement with the $\Lambda$CDM value ($w\simeq -1$), with the major exception of redshift-space distortions which favor less growth than in $\Lambda$CDM at 3-$\sigma$ confidence, favoring the equation of state $w^{\rm grow}\simeq -0.8$. The anomalous growth favored by redshift space distortions has been noted earlier, and is common to all RSD datasets, but may well be caused by systematics, or be explained by the sum of the neutrino masses higher than that expected from the simplest mass hierarchies, $m_\nu \simeq 0.45$ eV. On the whole, the constraints are tight even in the new, larger parameter space due to impressive complementarity of different cosmological probes.

The metallicity of void dwarf galaxies

The current Lambda CDM cosmological model predicts that galaxy evolution proceeds more slowly in lower density environments, suggesting that voids are a prime location to search for relatively pristine galaxies that are representative of the building blocks of early massive galaxies. To test this, we compare the evolutionary properties of a sample of dwarf galaxies selected specifically to lie in voids with a sample of similar isolated dwarf galaxies in average density environments. We measure gas-phase oxygen abundances and gas fractions for eight dwarf galaxies (M_r > -16.2), carefully selected to reside within the lowest density environments of seven voids, and apply the same calibrations to existing samples of isolated dwarf galaxies. We find no significant difference between these void dwarf galaxies and the isolated dwarf galaxies, suggesting that dwarf galaxy chemical evolution proceeds independent of the large-scale environment.

The Dark Matter Halos of Moderate Luminosity X-ray AGN as Determined from Weak Gravitational Lensing and Host Stellar Masses

Understanding the relationship between galaxies hosting active galactic nuclei (AGN) and the dark matter halos in which they reside is key to constraining how black-hole fueling is triggered and regulated. Previous efforts have relied on simple halo mass estimates inferred from clustering, weak gravitational lensing, or halo occupation distribution modeling. In practice, these approaches remain uncertain because AGN, no matter how they are identified, potentially live a wide range of halo masses with an occupation function whose general shape and normalization are poorly known. In this work, we show that better constraints can be achieved through a rigorous comparison of the clustering, lensing, and cross-correlation signals of AGN hosts to a fiducial stellar-to-halo mass relation (SHMR) derived for all galaxies. Our technique exploits the fact that the global SHMR can be measured with much higher accuracy than any statistic derived from AGN samples alone. Using 382 moderate luminosity X-ray AGN at z<1 from the COSMOS field, we report the first measurements of weak gravitational lensing from an X-ray selected sample. Comparing this signal to predictions from the global SHMR, we find that, contrary to previous results, most X-ray AGN do not live in medium size groups —nearly half reside in relatively low mass halos with Mh~10^12.5 Msun. The AGN occupation function is well described by the same form derived for all galaxies but with a lower normalization—the fraction of halos with AGN in our sample is a few percent. By highlighting the relatively "normal" way in which moderate luminosity X-ray AGN hosts occupy halos, our results suggest that the environmental signature of distinct fueling modes for luminous QSOs compared to moderate luminosity X-ray AGN is less obvious than previously claimed.

Possible signature of distant foreground in the Planck data

By using the Planck map of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation we have checked and confirmed the existence of a correlation between supernova (SN) redshifts, $z_{\rm SN}$, and CMB temperature fluctuations at the SNe locations, $T_{\rm SN}$, which we previously reported for the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data. The Pearson correlation coefficient for the Planck data is $r=+0.38\pm 0.08$ which indicates that the correlation is statistically significant (the signal is about $5\sigma$ above the noise level). The correlation becomes even stronger for the type Ia subsample of SNe, $r_{\rm Ia}=+0.45\pm 0.09$, whereas for the rest of the SNe it is vanishing. By checking the slopes of the regression lines $T_{\rm SN} / z_{\rm SN}$ for Planck’s different frequency bands we have also excluded the possibility of this anomaly being caused by the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect. The remaining possibility is some, unaccounted for, contribution to the CMB from distant ($z>0.3$) foreground through either the integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect or thermal emission from intergalactic matter.

Gas around galaxy haloes: methodology comparisons using hydrodynamical simulations of the intergalactic medium

We perform cosmological simulations of the intergalactic medium (IGM) at redshift z ~ 3 using the numerical gravity-hydrodynamics codes GADGET-3 and Enzo for the purpose of modelling the gaseous environments of galaxies. We identify haloes in the simulations using three different algorithms. Different rank orderings of the haloes by mass result, introducing a limiting factor in identifying haloes with observed galaxies. We also compare the physical properties of the gas between the two codes, focussing primarily on the gas outside the virial radius, motivated by recent HI absorption measurements of the gas around z ~ 2 – 3 galaxies. The internal dispersion velocities of the gas in the haloes have converged for a box size of 30 comoving Mpc, but the centre-of-mass peculiar velocities of the haloes have not up to a box size of 60 comoving Mpc. The density and temperature of the gas within the instantaneous turn-around radii of the haloes are adequately captured for box sizes 30 Mpc on a side, but the results are highly sensitive to the treatment of unresolved, rapidly cooling gas, with the gas mass fraction within the virial radius severely depleted by star formation in the GADGET-3 simulations. Convergence of the gas peculiar velocity field on large scales requires a box size of at least 60 Mpc. Outside the turn-around radius, the physical state of the gas agrees to 30 percent or better both with box size and between simulation methods. We conclude that generic IGM simulations make accurate predictions for the intergalactic gas properties beyond the halo turn-around radii, but the gas properties on smaller scales are highly dependent on star formation and feedback implementations.

EFTCAMB/EFTCosmoMC: massive neutrinos in dark cosmologies

We revisit the degeneracy between massive neutrinos and generalized theories of gravity in the framework of effective field theory of cosmic acceleration. In particular we consider f(R) theories and a class of non-minimally coupled models parametrized via a coupling to gravity which is linear in the scale factor. In the former case, we find a slightly lower degeneracy with respect to what found so far in the literature, due to the fact that we implement exact designer f(R) models and evolve the full linear dynamics of perturbations. As a consequence, our bounds are slightly tighter on the f(R) parameter but looser on the summed neutrino mass. We also set a new upper bound on the Compton wavelength parameter ${\rm Log}_{10}B_0<-4.1$ at 95% C.L. with fixed summed neutrino mass ($\sum m_{\nu}=0.06$ eV) in f(R) gravity with the combined data sets from cosmic microwave background temperature and lensing power spectra of Planck collaboration as well as galaxy power spectrum from WiggleZ dark energy survey. We do not observe a sizable degeneracy between massive neutrinos and modified gravity in the linear parametrization of non-minimally gravitational coupling model. The analysis is performed with an updated version of the EFTCAMB/EFTCosmoMC package, which is now publicly available and extends the first version of the code with the consistent inclusion of massive neutrinos, tensor modes, several alternative background histories and designer quintessence models.

Super-inflation and generation of first order vector perturbations in ELKO [Cross-Listing]

In this work we construct a model where first order vector perturbations can be generated during inflationary expansion. For the non-standard spinors, known as ELKO, we show that the ($\eta-i$) component of the first order perturbed energy-momentum tensor of the ELKO is non-zero for pure vector part of the metric perturbation ($B_{i}$). We show that vector perturbations do not decay in the super-horizon scale and for a specific super-inflation background model we show that the vector perturbations are nearly scale invariant, while its amplitude is smaller than the primordial scalar perturbations. We also comment on the generation of vorticity.

Super-inflation and generation of first order vector perturbations in ELKO

In this work we construct a model where first order vector perturbations can be generated during inflationary expansion. For the non-standard spinors, known as ELKO, we show that the ($\eta-i$) component of the first order perturbed energy-momentum tensor of the ELKO is non-zero for pure vector part of the metric perturbation ($B_{i}$). We show that vector perturbations do not decay in the super-horizon scale and for a specific super-inflation background model we show that the vector perturbations are nearly scale invariant, while its amplitude is smaller than the primordial scalar perturbations. We also comment on the generation of vorticity.

Super-inflation and generation of first order vector perturbations in ELKO [Cross-Listing]

In this work we construct a model where first order vector perturbations can be generated during inflationary expansion. For the non-standard spinors, known as ELKO, we show that the ($\eta-i$) component of the first order perturbed energy-momentum tensor of the ELKO is non-zero for pure vector part of the metric perturbation ($B_{i}$). We show that vector perturbations do not decay in the super-horizon scale and for a specific super-inflation background model we show that the vector perturbations are nearly scale invariant, while its amplitude is smaller than the primordial scalar perturbations. We also comment on the generation of vorticity.

Direct dark matter searches - Test of the Big Bounce Cosmology

We consider the possibility of using dark matter particle’s mass and its interaction cross section as a smoking gun signal of the existence of a Big Bounce at the early stage in the evolution of our currently observed universe. A study of dark matter production in the pre-bounce contraction and the post bounce expansion epochs of this universe reveals a new venue for achieving the observed relic abundance of our present universe, in which a significantly smaller amount of dark matter with a smaller cross section is produced and the information about the bounce universe evolution is preserved by the out-of-thermal-equilibrium process. Once the value of dark matter mass and interaction cross section are obtained by direct detection in laboratories, this alternative route becomes a signature prediction of the bounce universe scenario. This leads us to consider a scalar dark matter candidate, which if it is light, has important implications on dark matter searches.

Direct dark matter searches - Test of the Big Bounce Cosmology [Cross-Listing]

We consider the possibility of using dark matter particle’s mass and its interaction cross section as a smoking gun signal of the existence of a Big Bounce at the early stage in the evolution of our currently observed universe. A study of dark matter production in the pre-bounce contraction and the post bounce expansion epochs of this universe reveals a new venue for achieving the observed relic abundance of our present universe, in which a significantly smaller amount of dark matter with a smaller cross section is produced and the information about the bounce universe evolution is preserved by the out-of-thermal-equilibrium process. Once the value of dark matter mass and interaction cross section are obtained by direct detection in laboratories, this alternative route becomes a signature prediction of the bounce universe scenario. This leads us to consider a scalar dark matter candidate, which if it is light, has important implications on dark matter searches.

Lyman-alpha Forest Tomography of the z>2 Cosmic Web

The hydrogen Ly$\alpha$ forest is an important probe of the $z>2$ Universe that is otherwise challenging to observe with galaxy redshift surveys, but this technique has traditionally been limited to 1D studies in front of bright quasars. However, by pushing to faint magnitudes ($g>23$) with 8-10m large telescopes it becomes possible to exploit the high area density of high-redshift star-forming galaxies to create 3D tomographic maps of large-scale structure in the foreground. I describe the first pilot observations using this technique, as well discuss future surveys and the resulting science possibilities for galaxy evolution and cosmology.

Probing the evolution of galaxy clusters with the SZ Effect

In galaxy clusters the thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect from the hot intracluster medium (ICM) provides a direct, self-contained measure of the pressure integrated over crossing lines of sight, that is intrinsically independent of redshift and well suited for evolutionary studies. We show in detail how the size of the effect and its pattern on the sky plane are directly related to the entropy levels in the ICM, and how they characterize the cluster cores and outskirts independently. We find that at redshifts z<0.3 the signals to be expected in the cores considerably exceed those detected at 10′ resolution with the Planck satellite. We propose that at 1′ resolutions as implemented on recent ground instrumentation for mapping features in individual clusters, the average patterns of the SZ signals can provide a direct and effective way to find and count cool, low-entropy cores and hot, high-entropy outskirts out to z~2. Such counts will tell the timing and the mode of the processes that drive the evolution of the ICM from the distant to the local cluster population.

Probing bulk flow with nearby SNe Ia data

We test the isotropy of the local Universe using low redshift Supernova data from various catalogs and the non-parametric method of smoothed residuals. Using a recently developed catalog which combines Supernova data from various surveys, we show that the isotropic hypothesis of a Universe with zero velocity perturbation can be rejected with moderate significance, with $p$-value $\sim 0.07$ out to redshift $z < 0.045$. We estimate the direction of maximal anisotropy on the sky for various pre-existing catalogs and show that it remains relatively unaffected by the light curve fitting procedure. However the recovered direction is biased by the underlying distribution of data points on the sky. We estimate both the uncertainty and bias in the direction by creating mock data containing a randomly oriented bulk flow and using our method to reconstruct its direction. We conclude that the inhomogeneous nature of the data introduces a directional bias in galactic latitude of approximately $|\Delta b_{\rm max}| \sim 18^{\circ}$ for the Supernova catalog considered in this work, and after correcting for this effect we infer the direction of maximum anisotropy as $(b,\ell) = (20^{\circ}, 276^{\circ}) \pm (12^{\circ},29^{\circ})$ in galactic coordinates. Finally we compare the anisotropic signal in the data to mock realisations in which large scale velocity perturbations are consistently accounted for at the level of linear perturbation theory. We show that including the effect of the velocity perturbation in our mock catalogs degrades the significance of the anisotropy considerably, with $p$-value increasing to $\sim 0.29$. One can conclude from our analysis that there is a moderate deviation from isotropy in the Supernova data, but the signal is consistent with a large scale bulk velocity expected within $\Lambda$CDM.

Narrow band selected high redshift galaxy candidates contaminated by lower redshift [OIII] ultrastrong emitter line galaxies

Context. Lyman Break (LBG) and Narrow Band (NB) surveys have been successful at detecting large samples of high-redshift galaxies. Both methods are subject to contamination from low-redshift interlopers. Aims. In this paper, our aim is to investigate the nature of low-redshift interlopers in NB Lyman-{\alpha} emitters (LAE) searches. Methods. From previous HAWK-I NB imaging at z $\sim$ 7.7 we identify three objects that would have been selected as high-redshift LAEs had our optical data been one magnitude shallower (but still one to two magnitudes fainter than the near infrared data). We follow-up these objects in spectroscopy with XSHOOTER at the VLT. Results. Despite low quality data due to bad weather conditions, for each of the three objects we identify one, and only one emission line in the spectra of the objects, that we identify as the [OIII]5007A line. From this result and other arguments we infer that the 3 objects are ultrastrong line emitters at redshifts $\sim$ 1.1. Conclusions. From this work and the literature we remark that the [OIII] line appears to be a common source of contamination in high-redshift LBG and LAE samples and we suggest that efforts be put to characterize with high accuracy the [OIII] luminosity function out to redshift $\sim$ 3 or higher.

New massive spin two model on curved space-time [Cross-Listing]

We have proposed a new ghost-free model with interactions of massive spin two particles in Phys.\ Rev.\ D {\bf 90} (2014) 043006 [arXiv:1402.5737 [hep-th]]. Although the model is ghost-free on the Minkowski space-time, it is not obvious whether or not this desirable property is preserved on curved space-time. In fact, Buchbinder et al. already pointed out that the Fierz-Pauli theory is not ghost-free on curved space-time without non-minimal coupling terms. In this paper, we construct a new theory of massive spin two particles with non-minimal coupling on curved space-time and show that the model can be ghost-free. Furthermore, we propose new non-minimal coupling terms.

New massive spin two model on curved space-time [Cross-Listing]

We have proposed a new ghost-free model with interactions of massive spin two particles in Phys.\ Rev.\ D {\bf 90} (2014) 043006 [arXiv:1402.5737 [hep-th]]. Although the model is ghost-free on the Minkowski space-time, it is not obvious whether or not this desirable property is preserved on curved space-time. In fact, Buchbinder et al. already pointed out that the Fierz-Pauli theory is not ghost-free on curved space-time without non-minimal coupling terms. In this paper, we construct a new theory of massive spin two particles with non-minimal coupling on curved space-time and show that the model can be ghost-free. Furthermore, we propose new non-minimal coupling terms.

New massive spin two model on curved space-time

We have proposed a new ghost-free model with interactions of massive spin two particles in Phys.\ Rev.\ D {\bf 90} (2014) 043006 [arXiv:1402.5737 [hep-th]]. Although the model is ghost-free on the Minkowski space-time, it is not obvious whether or not this desirable property is preserved on curved space-time. In fact, Buchbinder et al. already pointed out that the Fierz-Pauli theory is not ghost-free on curved space-time without non-minimal coupling terms. In this paper, we construct a new theory of massive spin two particles with non-minimal coupling on curved space-time and show that the model can be ghost-free. Furthermore, we propose new non-minimal coupling terms.

Masked areas in shear peak statistics: a forward modeling approach

The statistics of shear peaks have been shown to provide valuable cosmological information beyond the power spectrum, and will be an important constraint of models of cosmology with the large survey areas provided by forthcoming astronomical surveys. Surveys include masked areas due to bright stars, bad pixels etc, which must be accounted for in producing constraints on cosmology from shear maps. We advocate a forward-modeling approach, where the impact of masking (and other survey artifacts) are accounted for in the theoretical prediction of cosmological parameters, rather than removed from survey data. We use masks based on the Deep Lens Survey, and explore the impact of up to 37% of the survey area being masked on LSST and DES-scale surveys. By reconstructing maps of aperture mass, the masking effect is smoothed out, resulting in up to 14% smaller statistical uncertainties compared to simply reducing the survey area by the masked area. We show that, even in the presence of large survey masks, the bias in cosmological parameter estimation produced in the forward-modeling process is ~1%, dominated by bias caused by limited simulation volume. We also explore how this potential bias scales with survey area and find that small survey areas are more significantly impacted by the differences in cosmological structure in the data and simulated volumes, due to cosmic variance.

New constraints on $\sigma_8$ from a joint analysis of stacked gravitational lensing and clustering of galaxy clusters

The joint analysis of clustering and stacked gravitational lensing of galaxy clusters in large surveys can constrain the formation and evolution of structures and the cosmological parameters. On scales outside a few virial radii, the halo bias, $b$, is linear and the lensing signal is dominated by the correlated distribution of matter around galaxy clusters. We discuss a method to measure the power spectrum amplitude $\sigma_8$ and $b$ based on a minimal modelling. We considered a sample of $\sim 120000$ clusters photometrically selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in the redshift range $0.1<z<0.6$. The auto-correlation was studied through the two-point function of a subsample of $\sim 70000$ clusters; the matter-halo correlation was derived from the weak lensing signal of the subsample of $\sim 1200$ clusters with Canada-France-Hawaii Lensing Survey data. We obtained a direct measurement of $b$, which increases with mass in agreement with predictions of the $\Lambda$CDM paradigm. Assuming $\Omega_\mathrm{M}=0.3$, we found $\sigma_8=0.78\pm0.17$. We used the same clusters for measuring both lensing and clustering and the estimate of $\sigma_8$ did require neither the mass-richness relation, nor the knowledge of the selection function, nor the modelling of $b$. With an additional theoretical prior on the bias, we obtained $\sigma_8=0.80\pm0.10$.

Extending the $L_{\mathrm{X}}-T$ relation from clusters to groups-Impact of cool core nature, AGN feedback, and selection effects

We aim to investigate the bolometric $L_{\mathrm{X}}-T$ relation for galaxy groups, and study the impact of gas cooling, feedback from supermassive black holes, and selection effects on it. With a sample of 26 galaxy groups we obtained the best fit $L_{\mathrm{X}}-T$ relation for five different cases depending on the ICM core properties and central AGN radio emission, and determined the slopes, normalisations, intrinsic and statistical scatters for both temperature and luminosity. Simulations were undertaken to correct for selection effects (e.g. Malmquist bias) and the bias corrected relations for groups and clusters were compared. The slope of the bias corrected $L_{\mathrm{X}}-T$ relation is marginally steeper but consistent with clusters ($\sim 3$). Groups with a central cooling time less than 1 Gyr (SCC groups) show indications of having the steepest slope and the highest normalisation. For the groups, the bias corrected intrinsic scatter in $L_{\mathrm{X}}$ is larger than the observed scatter for most cases, which is reported here for the first time. Lastly, we see indications that the groups with an extended central radio source have a much steeper slope than those groups which have a CRS with only core emission. Additionally, we also see indications that the more powerful radio AGN are preferentially located in NSCC groups rather than SCC groups.

 

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