Recent Postings from Cosmology and Extragalactic

Flavour Covariant Formalism for Resonant Leptogenesis [Cross-Listing]

We present a fully flavour-covariant formalism for transport phenomena and apply it to study the flavour-dynamics of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL). We show that this formalism provides a complete and unified description of RL, consistently accounting for three distinct physical phenomena: (i) resonant mixing and (ii) coherent oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours, as well as (iii) quantum decoherence effects in the charged-lepton sector. We describe the necessary emergence of higher-rank tensors in flavour space, arising from the unitarity cuts of partial self-energies. Finally, we illustrate the importance of this formalism within a minimal Resonant $\tau$-Genesis model by showing that, with the inclusion of all flavour effects in a consistent way, the final lepton asymmetry can be enhanced by up to an order of magnitude, when compared to previous partially flavour-dependent treatments.

Flavour Covariant Formalism for Resonant Leptogenesis

We present a fully flavour-covariant formalism for transport phenomena and apply it to study the flavour-dynamics of Resonant Leptogenesis (RL). We show that this formalism provides a complete and unified description of RL, consistently accounting for three distinct physical phenomena: (i) resonant mixing and (ii) coherent oscillations between different heavy-neutrino flavours, as well as (iii) quantum decoherence effects in the charged-lepton sector. We describe the necessary emergence of higher-rank tensors in flavour space, arising from the unitarity cuts of partial self-energies. Finally, we illustrate the importance of this formalism within a minimal Resonant $\tau$-Genesis model by showing that, with the inclusion of all flavour effects in a consistent way, the final lepton asymmetry can be enhanced by up to an order of magnitude, when compared to previous partially flavour-dependent treatments.

Precision Tests of Parity Violation Over Cosmological Distances

Recent measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background $B$-mode polarization power spectrum by the BICEP2 and POLARBEAR experiments have demonstrated new precision tools for probing fundamental physics. Regardless of origin, the fact that we can detect sub-$\mu$K CMB polarization represents a tremendous technological breakthrough. Yet more information may be latent in the CMB’s polarization pattern. Because of its tensorial nature, CMB polarization may also reveal parity-violating physics via a detection of cosmic polarization rotation. Although current CMB polarimeters are sensitive enough to measure one degree-level polarization rotation with $>5\sigma$ statistical significance, they lack the ability to differentiate this effect from a systematic instrumental polarization rotation. Here, we motivate the search for cosmic polarization rotation from current CMB data as well as independent radio galaxy and quasar polarization measurements. We argue that an improvement in calibration accuracy would allow the precise measurement of parity- and Lorentz-violating effects. We describe the CalSat space-based polarization calibrator that will provide stringent control of systematic polarization angle calibration uncertainties to $0.05^\circ$ — an order of magnitude improvement over current CMB polarization calibrators. CalSat-based calibration could be used with current CMB polarimeters searching for $B$-mode polarization, effectively turning them into probes of cosmic parity violation, i.e. without the need to build dedicated instruments.

Two-Field Analysis of No-Scale Supergravity Inflation [Cross-Listing]

Since the building-blocks of supersymmetric models include chiral superfields containing pairs of effective scalar fields, a two-field approach is particularly appropriate for models of inflation based on supergravity. In this paper, we generalize the two-field analysis of the inflationary power spectrum to supergravity models with arbitrary K\"ahler potential. We show how two-field effects in the context of no-scale supergravity can alter the model predictions for the scalar spectral index $n_s$ and the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$, yielding results that interpolate between the Planck-friendly Starobinsky model and BICEP2-friendly predictions. In particular, we show that two-field effects in a chaotic no-scale inflation model with a quadratic potential are capable of reducing $r$ to very small values $\ll 0.1$. We also calculate the non-Gaussianity measure $f_{\rm NL}$, finding that is well below the current experimental sensitivity.

Two-Field Analysis of No-Scale Supergravity Inflation [Cross-Listing]

Since the building-blocks of supersymmetric models include chiral superfields containing pairs of effective scalar fields, a two-field approach is particularly appropriate for models of inflation based on supergravity. In this paper, we generalize the two-field analysis of the inflationary power spectrum to supergravity models with arbitrary K\"ahler potential. We show how two-field effects in the context of no-scale supergravity can alter the model predictions for the scalar spectral index $n_s$ and the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$, yielding results that interpolate between the Planck-friendly Starobinsky model and BICEP2-friendly predictions. In particular, we show that two-field effects in a chaotic no-scale inflation model with a quadratic potential are capable of reducing $r$ to very small values $\ll 0.1$. We also calculate the non-Gaussianity measure $f_{\rm NL}$, finding that is well below the current experimental sensitivity.

Two-Field Analysis of No-Scale Supergravity Inflation

Since the building-blocks of supersymmetric models include chiral superfields containing pairs of effective scalar fields, a two-field approach is particularly appropriate for models of inflation based on supergravity. In this paper, we generalize the two-field analysis of the inflationary power spectrum to supergravity models with arbitrary K\"ahler potential. We show how two-field effects in the context of no-scale supergravity can alter the model predictions for the scalar spectral index $n_s$ and the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$, yielding results that interpolate between the Planck-friendly Starobinsky model and BICEP2-friendly predictions. In particular, we show that two-field effects in a chaotic no-scale inflation model with a quadratic potential are capable of reducing $r$ to very small values $\ll 0.1$. We also calculate the non-Gaussianity measure $f_{\rm NL}$, finding that is well below the current experimental sensitivity.

Two-Field Analysis of No-Scale Supergravity Inflation [Cross-Listing]

Since the building-blocks of supersymmetric models include chiral superfields containing pairs of effective scalar fields, a two-field approach is particularly appropriate for models of inflation based on supergravity. In this paper, we generalize the two-field analysis of the inflationary power spectrum to supergravity models with arbitrary K\"ahler potential. We show how two-field effects in the context of no-scale supergravity can alter the model predictions for the scalar spectral index $n_s$ and the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$, yielding results that interpolate between the Planck-friendly Starobinsky model and BICEP2-friendly predictions. In particular, we show that two-field effects in a chaotic no-scale inflation model with a quadratic potential are capable of reducing $r$ to very small values $\ll 0.1$. We also calculate the non-Gaussianity measure $f_{\rm NL}$, finding that is well below the current experimental sensitivity.

CO excitation of normal star forming galaxies out to $z=1.5$ as regulated by the properties of their interstellar medium

We investigate the CO excitation of normal star forming galaxies at $z=1.5$ using IRAM PdBI observations of the CO[2-1], CO[3-2] and CO[5-4] transitions for 4 galaxies, and VLA observations of CO[1-0] for 3 of them, measuring reliable line fluxes with S/N$>4$-7 for individual transitions. While the average CO Spectral Line Energy Distribution (SLED) has a sub-thermal excitation similar to the Milky Way (MW) up to CO[3-2], we show that the average CO[5-4] emission is 4 times stronger than assuming MW excitation. This demonstrates the presence of an additional component of more excited, denser and possibly warmer molecular gas. The ratio of CO[5-4] to lower-J CO emission is however lower than in local (U)LIRGs and high-redshift starbursting SMGs, and appears to correlate closely with the average intensity of the radiation field $<U>$ and with the star formation surface density, but not with SF efficiency (SFE). This suggests that the overall CO excitation is at least indirectly affected by the metallicity of the ISM. The luminosity of the CO[5-4] transition is found to correlate linearly with the bolometric infrared luminosity over 4 orders of magnitudes, with BzK galaxies following the same linear trend as local spirals and (U)LIRGs and high redshift star bursting sub-millimeter galaxies. The CO[5-4] luminosity is thus related to the dense gas, and might be a more convenient way to probe it than standard high–density tracers. We see excitation variations among our sample galaxies, linked to their evolutionary state and clumpiness in optical rest frame images. In one galaxy we see spatially resolved excitation variations, the more highly excited part corresponds to the location of massive SF clumps. This provides support to models that suggest that giant clumps are the main source of the high excitation CO emission in high redshift disk-like galaxies.

Modelling CO emission from hydrodynamic simulations of nearby spirals, starbursting mergers, and high-redshift galaxies

We model the intensity of emission lines from the CO molecule, based on hydrodynamic simulations of spirals, mergers, and high-redshift galaxies with very high resolutions (3pc and 10^3 Msun) and detailed models for the phase-space structure of the interstellar gas including shock heating, stellar feedback processes and galactic winds. The simulations are analyzed with a Large Velocity Gradient (LVG) model to compute the local emission in various molecular lines in each resolution element, radiation transfer and opacity effects, and the intensity emerging from galaxies, to generate synthetic spectra for various transitions of the CO molecule. This model reproduces the known properties of CO spectra and CO-to-H2 conversion factors in nearby spirals and starbursting major mergers. The high excitation of CO lines in mergers is dominated by an excess of high-density gas, and the high turbulent velocities and compression that create this dense gas excess result in broad linewidths and low CO intensity-to-H2 mass ratios. When applied to high-redshift gas-rich disks galaxies, the same model predicts that their CO-to-H2 conversion factor is almost as high as in nearby spirals, and much higher than in starbursting mergers. High-redshift disk galaxies contain giant star-forming clumps that host a high-excitation component associated to gas warmed by the spatially-concentrated stellar feedback sources, although CO(1-0) to CO(3-2) emission is overall dominated by low-excitation gas around the densest clumps. These results overall highlight a strong dependence of CO excitation and the CO-to-H2 conversion factor on galaxy type, even at similar star formation rates or densities. The underlying processes are driven by the interstellar medium structure and turbulence and its response to stellar feedback, which depend on global galaxy structure and in turn impact the CO emission properties.

Running of scalar spectral index in multi-field inflation [Cross-Listing]

We compute the running of the scalar spectral index in general multi-field slow-roll inflation. By incorporating explicit momentum dependence at the moment of horizon crossing, we can find the running straightforwardly. At the same time, we can distinguish the contributions from the quasi de Sitter background and the super-horizon evolution of the field fluctuations.

Running of scalar spectral index in multi-field inflation [Cross-Listing]

We compute the running of the scalar spectral index in general multi-field slow-roll inflation. By incorporating explicit momentum dependence at the moment of horizon crossing, we can find the running straightforwardly. At the same time, we can distinguish the contributions from the quasi de Sitter background and the super-horizon evolution of the field fluctuations.

Running of scalar spectral index in multi-field inflation [Cross-Listing]

We compute the running of the scalar spectral index in general multi-field slow-roll inflation. By incorporating explicit momentum dependence at the moment of horizon crossing, we can find the running straightforwardly. At the same time, we can distinguish the contributions from the quasi de Sitter background and the super-horizon evolution of the field fluctuations.

Running of scalar spectral index in multi-field inflation

We compute the running of the scalar spectral index in general multi-field slow-roll inflation. By incorporating explicit momentum dependence at the moment of horizon crossing, we can find the running straightforwardly. At the same time, we can distinguish the contributions from the quasi de Sitter background and the super-horizon evolution of the field fluctuations.

VLT/UVES observations of peculiar alpha abundances in a sub-DLA at z ~ 1.8 towards the quasar B1101-26

We present a detailed analysis of chemical abundances in a sub-damped Lyman alpha absorber at z=1.839 towards the quasar B1101-26, based on a very-high-resolution (R ~ 75,000) and high-signal-to-noise (S/N >100) spectrum observed with the UV Visual Echelle spectrograph (UVES) installed on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). The absorption line profiles are resolved into a maximum of eleven velocity components spanning a rest-frame velocity range of 200 km/s. Detected ions include CII, CIV, NII, OI, MgI, MgII, AlII, AlIII, SiII, SiIII, SiIV, FeII, and possibly SII. The total neutral hydrogen column density is log N(HI) = 19.48 +/- 0.01. From measurements of column densities and Doppler parameters we estimate element abundances of the above-given elements. The overall metallicity, as traced by [OI/HI], is -1.56 +/- 0.01. For the nitrogen-to-oxygen ratio we derive an upper limit of [NI/OI] < -0.65, which suggests a chemically young absorption line system. This is supported by a supersolar alpha/Fe ratio of [SiII/FeII] ~ 0.5. The most striking feature in the observed abundance pattern is an unusually high sulphur-to-oxygen ratio of 0.69 < [SII/OI] < 1.26. We calculate detailed photoionisation models for two subcomponents with Cloudy, and can rule out that ionisation effects alone are responsible for the high S/O ratio. We instead speculate that the high S/O ratio is caused by the combination of several effects, such as specific ionisation conditions in multi-phase gas, unusual relative abundances of heavy elements, and/or dust depletion in a local gas environment that is not well mixed and/or that might be related to star-formation activity in the host galaxy. We discuss the implications of our findings for the interpretation of alpha-element abundances in metal absorbers at high redshift.

Properties of optically selected BL Lac candidates from the SDSS

\textbf{Context.} Deep optical surveys open the avenue for find large numbers of BL Lac objects that are hard to identify because they lack the unique properties classifying them as such. While radio or X-ray surveys typically reveal dozens of sources, recent compilations based on optical criteria alone have increased the number of BL Lac candidates considerably. However, these compilations are subject to biases and may contain a substantial number of contaminating sources. \textbf{Aims.} In this paper we extend our analysis of 182 optically selected BL Lac object candidates from the SDSS with respect to an earlier study. The main goal is to determine the number of bona fide BL Lac objects in this sample. \textbf{Methods.} We examine their variability characteristics, determine their broad-band radio-UV SEDs, and search for the presence of a host galaxy. In addition we present new optical spectra for 27 targets with improved S/N with respect to the SDSS spectra. \textbf{Results.} At least 59% of our targets have shown variability between SDSS DR2 and our observations by more than 0.1-0.27 mag de- pending on the telescope used. A host galaxy was detected in 36% of our targets. The host galaxy type and luminosities are consistent with earlier studies of BL Lac host galaxies. Simple fits to broad-band SEDS for 104 targets of our sample derived synchrotron peak frequencies between $13.5 \leq \mathrm{log}_{10}(\nu_{\mathrm{peak}}) \leq 16$ with a peak at $\mathrm{log}_{10} \sim 14.5$. Our new optical spectra do not reveal any new redshift for any of our objects. Thus the sample contains a large number of bona fide BL Lac objects and seems to contain a substantial fraction of intermediate-frequency peaked BL Lacs.

Anisotropy in the Hubble constant as modeled by density gradients

The all-sky maps of the observed variation of the Hubble constant can be reproduced from a theoretical point of view by introducing an intergalactic plasma with a variable number density of electrons. The observed averaged value and variance of the Hubble constant are reproduced by adopting a rim model, an auto-gravitating model, and a Voronoi diagrams model as the backbone for an auto-gravitating medium. We also analyze an astronomer’s model based on the 3D spatial distribution of galaxies as given by the 2MASS Redshift Survey and an auto-gravitating Lane–Emden ($n=5$) profile of the electrons. The simulation which involves the Voronoi diagrams is done in a cubic box with sides of 100 Mpc. The simulation which involves the 2MASS covers the range of redshift smaller than 0.05.

Cosmological nonlinear structure formation in full general relativity [Cross-Listing]

We perform numerical evolutions of cosmological scenarios using a standard general relativistic code in spherical symmetry. We concentrate on two different situations: initial matter distributions that are homogeneous and isotropic, and perturbations to those that respect the spherical symmetry. As matter models we consider the case of a pressureless perfect fluid, i.e. dust, and the case of a real massive scalar field oscillating around the minimum of the potential. Both types of matter have been considered as possible dark matter candidates in the cosmology literature, dust being closely related to the standard cold dark matter paradigm. We confirm that in the linear regime the perturbations associated with these types of matter grow in essentially the same way, the main difference being that in the case of a scalar field the dynamics introduce a cut-off in the power spectrum of the density perturbations at scales comparable with the Compton wavelength of the field. We also follow the evolutions well beyond the linear regime showing that both models are able to form structure. In particular we find that, once in the nonlinear regime, perturbations collapse faster in a universe dominated by dust. This is expected to delay the formation of the first structures in the scalar field dark matter scenario with respect to the standard cold dark matter one.

Cosmological nonlinear structure formation in full general relativity

We perform numerical evolutions of cosmological scenarios using a standard general relativistic code in spherical symmetry. We concentrate on two different situations: initial matter distributions that are homogeneous and isotropic, and perturbations to those that respect the spherical symmetry. As matter models we consider the case of a pressureless perfect fluid, i.e. dust, and the case of a real massive scalar field oscillating around the minimum of the potential. Both types of matter have been considered as possible dark matter candidates in the cosmology literature, dust being closely related to the standard cold dark matter paradigm. We confirm that in the linear regime the perturbations associated with these types of matter grow in essentially the same way, the main difference being that in the case of a scalar field the dynamics introduce a cut-off in the power spectrum of the density perturbations at scales comparable with the Compton wavelength of the field. We also follow the evolutions well beyond the linear regime showing that both models are able to form structure. In particular we find that, once in the nonlinear regime, perturbations collapse faster in a universe dominated by dust. This is expected to delay the formation of the first structures in the scalar field dark matter scenario with respect to the standard cold dark matter one.

Very Weak Primordial Gravitational Waves Signal from BICEP2 and Planck HFI 353GHz Dust Polarization

The dust polarization is parameterized as a power law form of the multipole $l$: $D^{XX}_{l}=A^{XX}l(l+1)l^{\alpha_{XX}}/(2\pi)$ ($XX$ denotes $BB$ or $EE$), where $A^{XX}$ is its amplitude with the ratio $A^{BB}/A^{EE}=0.52\pm 0.02$ and $\alpha_{BB,EE}=-2.42\pm 0.02$. Extrapolating to $150$GHz from $353$GHz yields a value of $D^{BB}_{l=80}=(1.32\pm 0.29)\times 10^{-2}\mu K^2$ (and an additional uncertainty $(+0.28,-0.24)\times 10^{-2}\mu K^2$) over the range $40<l<120$. Based on these data, in this brief paper, we report the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r=A_{t}/A_{s}$ defined at $k_0=0.05 \text{Mpc} ^{-1}$ by joining the BICEP2+{\it Planck}2013+WMAP9+BAO+HST and {\it Planck} HFI $353$GHz dust polarization and its implication to the detection of the primordial gravitational waves. Considering the $\Lambda$CDM+$r$ model, we found $r<0.108$ at $95\%$ confidence level with $\sigma_{stat}=0.29$ and $r<0.129$ at $95\%$ confidence level with $\sigma_{stat+extr}=0.29+0.28$. The results imply no significant evidence for the primordial gravitational waves in $1\sigma$ regions. However the post probability distribution of $r$ peaks at a small positive value. And $r$ moves to larger positive values when the extrapolation error bars are included. This might imply a very weak signal of the primordial gravitational waves. It also implies the crucial fact in calibrating the amplitude of the dust polarizations in detecting the primordial gravitational waves in the future.

Models of dark matter halos based on statistical mechanics: II. The fermionic King model

We discuss the nature of phase transitions in the fermionic King model which describes tidally truncated quantum self-gravitating systems. This distribution function takes into account the escape of high energy particles and has a finite mass. On the other hand, the Pauli exclusion principle puts an upper bound on the phase space density of the system and stabilizes it against gravitational collapse. As a result, there exists a statistical equilibrium state for any accessible values of energy and temperature. We plot the caloric curves and investigate the nature of phase transitions as a function of the degeneracy parameter in both microcanonical and canonical ensembles. We consider stable and metastable states and emphasize the importance of the latter for systems with long-range interactions. Phase transitions can take place between a "gaseous" phase unaffected by quantum mechanics and a "condensed" phase dominated by quantum mechanics. The phase diagram exhibits two critical points, one in each ensemble, beyond which the phase transitions disappear. There also exist a region of negative specific heats and a situation of ensemble inequivalence for sufficiently large systems. We apply the fermionic King model to the case of dark matter halos made of massive neutrinos. The gaseous phase describes large halos and the condensed phase describes dwarf halos. Partially degenerate configurations describe intermediate size halos. We argue that large dark matter halos cannot harbor a fermion ball because these nucleus-halo configurations are thermodynamically unstable (saddle points of entropy). Large dark matter halos may rather contain a central black hole resulting from a dynamical instability of relativistic origin occurring during the gravothermal catastrophe.

Models of dark matter halos based on statistical mechanics: I. The classical King model

We consider the possibility that dark matter halos are described by the Fermi-Dirac distribution at finite temperature. This is the case if dark matter is a self-gravitating quantum gas made of massive neutrinos at statistical equilibrium. This is also the case if dark matter can be treated as a self-gravitating collisionless gas experiencing Lynden-Bell’s type of violent relaxation. In order to avoid the infinite mass problem and carry out a rigorous stability analysis, we consider the fermionic King model. In this paper, we study the non-degenerate limit leading to the classical King model. This model was initially introduced to describe globular clusters. We propose to apply it also to large dark matter halos where quantum effects are negligible. We determine the caloric curve and study the thermodynamical stability of the different configurations. Equilibrium states exist only above a critical energy $E_c$ in the microcanonical ensemble and only above a critical temperature $T_c$ in the canonical ensemble. For $E<E_c$, the system undergoes a gravothermal catastrophe and, for $T<T_c$, it undergoes an isothermal collapse. We compute the profiles of density, circular velocity, and velocity dispersion. We compare the prediction of the classical King model to the observations of large dark matter halos. Because of collisions and evaporation, the central density increases while the slope of the halo density profile decreases until an instability takes place. We show that large dark matter halos are relatively well-described by the King model at, or close to, the point of marginal microcanonical stability. At that point, the King model generates a density profile that can be approximated by the modified Hubble profile. This profile has a flat core and decreases as $r^{-3}$ at large distances, like the observational Burkert profile. Less steep halos are unstable.

The AGN Hubble Diagram and Its Implications for Cosmology [Cross-Listing]

We use a recently proposed luminosity distance measure for relatively nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to test the predicted expansion of the Universe in the R_h=ct and LCDM cosmologies. This comparative study is particularly relevant to the question of whether or not the Universe underwent a transition from decelerated to accelerated expansion, which is believed to have occurred—on the basis of Type Ia SN studies—within the redshift range (0 < z < 1.3) that will eventually be sampled by these objects. We find that the AGN Hubble Diagram constructed from currently available sources does not support the existence of such a transition. While the scatter in the AGN data is still too large for any firm conclusions to be drawn, the results reported here nonetheless confirm and strengthen similar results of comparative analyses using other types of source, such as cosmic chronometers and gamma ray bursts. We show that the Akaike, Kullback, and Bayes Information Criteria all consistently yield a likelihood of ~74-93% that R_h=ct is closer to the "true" cosmology than LCDM is.

The AGN Hubble Diagram and Its Implications for Cosmology

We use a recently proposed luminosity distance measure for relatively nearby active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to test the predicted expansion of the Universe in the R_h=ct and LCDM cosmologies. This comparative study is particularly relevant to the question of whether or not the Universe underwent a transition from decelerated to accelerated expansion, which is believed to have occurred—on the basis of Type Ia SN studies—within the redshift range (0 < z < 1.3) that will eventually be sampled by these objects. We find that the AGN Hubble Diagram constructed from currently available sources does not support the existence of such a transition. While the scatter in the AGN data is still too large for any firm conclusions to be drawn, the results reported here nonetheless confirm and strengthen similar results of comparative analyses using other types of source, such as cosmic chronometers and gamma ray bursts. We show that the Akaike, Kullback, and Bayes Information Criteria all consistently yield a likelihood of ~74-93% that R_h=ct is closer to the "true" cosmology than LCDM is.

Visibility based angular power spectrum estimation in low frequency radio interferometric observations

We present two estimators to quantify the angular power spectrum of the sky signal directly from the visibilities measured in radio interferometric observations. This is relevant for both the foregrounds and the cosmological 21-cm signal buried therein. The discussion here is restricted to the Galactic synchrotron radiation, the most dominant foreground component after point source removal. Our theoretical analysis is validated using simulations at 150 MHz, mainly for GMRT and also briefly for LOFAR. The Bare Estimator uses pairwise correlations of the measured visibilities, while the Tapered Gridded Estimator uses the visibilities after gridding in the uv plane. The former is very precise, but computationally expensive for large data. The latter has a lower precision, but takes less computation time which is proportional to the data volume. The latter also allows tapering of the sky response leading to sidelobe suppression, an useful ingredient for foreground removal. Both estimators avoid the positive bias that arises due to the system noise. We consider amplitude and phase errors of the gain, and the w-term as possible sources of errors . We find that the estimated angular power spectrum is exponentially sensitive to the variance of the phase errors but insensitive to amplitude errors. The statistical uncertainties of the estimators are affected by both amplitude and phase errors. The w-term does not have a significant effect at the angular scales of our interest. We propose the Tapered Gridded Estimator as an effective tool to observationally quantify both foregrounds and the cosmological 21-cm signal.

Comparing Planck and WMAP: Maps, Spectra, and Parameters

We examine the consistency of WMAP9 and Planck data. We compare sky maps, power spectra, and inferred LCDM cosmological parameters. Residual dipoles are seen in the WMAP and Planck sky map differences, but are consistent within the uncertainties and are not large enough to explain the widely-noted differences in angular power spectra at higher l. After removing residual dipoles and galactic foregrounds, the residual difference maps exhibit a quadrupole and other large-scale systematic structure. We identify this structure as possibly originating from Planck’s beam sidelobe pick-up, but note that it appears to have insignificant cosmological impact. We develop an extension of the internal linear combination technique and find features that plausibly originate in the Planck data. We examine LCDM model fits to the angular power spectra and conclude that the ~2.5% difference in the spectra at multipoles greater than l~100 are significant at the 3-5 sigma level. We revisit the analysis of WMAP’s beam data and conclude that previously-derived uncertainties are robust and cannot explain the power spectrum differences. Finally, we examine the consistency of the LCDM parameters inferred from each data set taking into account the fact that both experiments observe the same sky, but cover different multipole ranges, apply different sky masks, and have different noise. While individual parameter values agree within the uncertainties, the 6 parameters taken together are discrepant at the ~6 sigma level, with chi2=56 for 6 dof (PTE = 3e-10). Of the 6 parameters, chi2 is best improved by marginalizing over Omega_c h^2, giving chi2=5.2 for 5 degrees of freedom. We find that perturbing the WMAP window function by its dominant beam error profile has little effect on Omega_c h^2, while perturbing the Planck window function by its corresponding error profile has a much greater effect on Omega_c h^2.

A New Multi-Scale Structure Finding Algorithm to Identify Cosmological Structure

We introduce a new self-consistent structure finding algorithm that parses large scale cosmological structure into clusters, filaments and voids. This structure finding algorithm probes the cosmological structure at multiple scales and clas- sifies the appropriate regions with the most probable structure type and size. We show that it reproduces key observational results, including the baryon fraction of ICM, and average temperatures and densities for the different structures.

Matter Perturbations in Scaling Cosmology [Cross-Listing]

A suitable interaction between dark matter with an energy density $\rho_{M}$ and dark energy with an energy density $\rho_{X}$ is known to give rise to a non-canonical scaling $\rho_{M} \propto \rho_{X}a^{-\xi}$ where $\xi$ is a parameter which generally deviates from $\xi =3$. Here we present a covariant generalization of this class of models and investigate the corresponding perturbation dynamics. The resulting matter power spectrum for the special case of a decaying Lambda model is compared with data from the SDSS DR7 catalogue. We find a large degeneracy in $\xi$, equivalent to a poor restriction of the interaction but our results are compatible with the LCDM model which corresponds to the noninteracting limit with $\xi =3$ and an equation-of-state parameter $w=-1$.

Matter Perturbations in Scaling Cosmology [Cross-Listing]

A suitable interaction between dark matter with an energy density $\rho_{M}$ and dark energy with an energy density $\rho_{X}$ is known to give rise to a non-canonical scaling $\rho_{M} \propto \rho_{X}a^{-\xi}$ where $\xi$ is a parameter which generally deviates from $\xi =3$. Here we present a covariant generalization of this class of models and investigate the corresponding perturbation dynamics. The resulting matter power spectrum for the special case of a decaying Lambda model is compared with data from the SDSS DR7 catalogue. We find a large degeneracy in $\xi$, equivalent to a poor restriction of the interaction but our results are compatible with the LCDM model which corresponds to the noninteracting limit with $\xi =3$ and an equation-of-state parameter $w=-1$.

Matter Perturbations in Scaling Cosmology

A suitable interaction between dark matter with an energy density $\rho_{M}$ and dark energy with an energy density $\rho_{X}$ is known to give rise to a non-canonical scaling $\rho_{M} \propto \rho_{X}a^{-\xi}$ where $\xi$ is a parameter which generally deviates from $\xi =3$. Here we present a covariant generalization of this class of models and investigate the corresponding perturbation dynamics. The resulting matter power spectrum for the special case of a decaying Lambda model is compared with data from the SDSS DR7 catalogue. We find a large degeneracy in $\xi$, equivalent to a poor restriction of the interaction but our results are compatible with the LCDM model which corresponds to the noninteracting limit with $\xi =3$ and an equation-of-state parameter $w=-1$.

The Overlooked Potential of Generalized Linear Models in Astronomy-II: Gamma regression and photometric redshifts

Machine learning techniques offer a precious tool box for use within astronomy to solve problems involving so-called big data. They provide a means to make accurate predictions about a particular system without prior knowledge of the underlying physical processes of the data. In this article, and the companion papers of this series, we present the set of Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) as a fast alternative method for tackling general astronomical problems, including the ones related to the machine learning paradigm. To demonstrate the applicability of GLMs to inherently positive and continuous physical observables, we explore their use in estimating the photometric redshifts of galaxies from their multi-wavelength photometry. Using the gamma family with a log link function we predict redshifts from the photo-z Accuracy Testing simulated catalogue and a subset of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey from Data Release 10. We obtain fits that result in catastrophic outlier rates as low as ~1% for simulated and ~2% for real data. Moreover, we can easily obtain such levels of precision within a matter of seconds on a normal desktop computer and with training sets that contain merely thousands of galaxies. Our software is made publicly available as an user-friendly package developed in Python, R and via an interactive web application. This software allows users to apply a set of GLMs to their own photometric catalogues and generates publication quality plots with minimum effort from the user. By facilitating their ease of use to the astronomical community, this paper series aims to make GLMs widely known and to encourage their implementation in future large-scale projects, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

The Overlooked Potential of Generalized Linear Models in Astronomy - I: Binomial Regression and Numerical Simulations

Revealing hidden patterns in astronomical data is often the path to fundamental scientific breakthroughs; meanwhile the complexity of scientific inquiry increases as more subtle relationships are sought. Contemporary data analysis problems often elude the capabilities of classical statistical techniques, suggesting the use of cutting edge statistical methods. In this light, astronomers have overlooked a whole family of statistical techniques for exploratory data analysis and robust regression, the so-called Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). In this paper — the first in a series aimed at illustrating the power of these methods in astronomical applications — we elucidate the potential of a particular class of GLMs for handling binary/binomial data, the so-called logit and probit regression techniques, from both a maximum likelihood and a Bayesian perspective. As a case in point, we present the use of these GLMs to explore the conditions of star formation activity and metal enrichment in primordial minihaloes from cosmological hydro-simulations including detailed chemistry, gas physics, and stellar feedback. Finally, we highlight the use of receiver operating characteristic curves as a diagnostic for binary classifiers, and ultimately we use these to demonstrate the competitive predictive performance of GLMs against the popular technique of artificial neural networks.

Beyond single-stream with the Schr\"odinger method

We investigate large scale structure formation of collisionless dark matter in the phase space description based on the Vlasov-Poisson equation. We present the Schr\"odinger method, originally proposed by Widrow and Kaiser (1993) as numerical technique based on the Schr\"odinger Poisson equation, as an analytical tool which is superior to the common standard pressureless fluid model. Whereas the dust model fails and develops singularities at shell crossing the Schr\"odinger method encompasses multi-streaming and even virialization.

Clustering properties of moderate luminosity X-ray selected Type 1 and Type 2 AGN at z~3

We investigate, for the first time at z~3, the clustering properties of 189 Type 1 and 157 Type 2 X-ray active galactic nuclei (AGN) of moderate luminosity (log<Lbol> = 45.3 erg/s), with photometric or spectroscopic redshifts in the range 2.2<z<6.8. These samples are based on Chandra and XMM-Newton data in COSMOS. We find that Type 1 and Type 2 COSMOS AGN at z=3 inhabit DMHs with typical mass of logMh = 12.84+0.10/-0.11 and 11.73+0.39/-0.45 Msun/h, respectively. This result requires a drop in the halo masses of Type 1 and 2 COSMOS AGN at z~3 compared to z<2 XMM COSMOS AGN with similar luminosities. Additionally, we infer that unobscured COSMOS AGN at z~3 reside in 10 times more massive halos compared to obscured COSMOS AGN, at 2.6sigma level. This result extends to z~3 that found in COSMOS at z<2, and rules out the picture in which obscuration is purely an orientation effect. A model which assumes that the AGN activity is triggered by major mergers is quite successful in predicting both the low halo mass of COSMOS AGN and the typical mass of luminous SDSS quasars at z~3, with the latter inhabiting more massive halos respect to moderate luminosity AGN. Alternatively we can argue, at least for Type 1 COSMOS AGN, that they are possibly representative of an early phase of fast (i.e. Eddington limited) BH growth induced by cosmic cold flows or disk instabilities. Given the moderate luminosity, these new fast growing BHs have masses of e7-8 Msun at z~3 which might evolve into e8.5-9 Msun mass BHs at z=0. Following our clustering measurements, we argue that this fast BH growth at z~3 in AGN with moderate luminosity occurs in DMHs with typical mass of 6 times e12 Msun/h.

On Consistent Kinetic and Derivative Interactions for Gravitons [Cross-Listing]

The only known fully ghost-free and consistent Lorentz-invariant kinetic term for a graviton (or indeed for any spin-2 field) is the Einstein-Hilbert term. Here we propose and investigate a new family of candidate kinetic interactions and their extensions to derivative interactions involving several spin-2 fields. These new terms generically break diffeomorphism invariance(s) and as a result can lead to the propagation of 5 degrees of freedom for a single spin-2 field – analogous to ghost-free Massive Gravity. We discuss under what circumstances these new terms can be used to build healthy effective field theories and in the process establish the `Jordan’ and `Einstein’ frame pictures for Massive-, Bi- and Multi-Gravity.

On Consistent Kinetic and Derivative Interactions for Gravitons [Cross-Listing]

The only known fully ghost-free and consistent Lorentz-invariant kinetic term for a graviton (or indeed for any spin-2 field) is the Einstein-Hilbert term. Here we propose and investigate a new family of candidate kinetic interactions and their extensions to derivative interactions involving several spin-2 fields. These new terms generically break diffeomorphism invariance(s) and as a result can lead to the propagation of 5 degrees of freedom for a single spin-2 field – analogous to ghost-free Massive Gravity. We discuss under what circumstances these new terms can be used to build healthy effective field theories and in the process establish the `Jordan’ and `Einstein’ frame pictures for Massive-, Bi- and Multi-Gravity.

On Consistent Kinetic and Derivative Interactions for Gravitons

The only known fully ghost-free and consistent Lorentz-invariant kinetic term for a graviton (or indeed for any spin-2 field) is the Einstein-Hilbert term. Here we propose and investigate a new family of candidate kinetic interactions and their extensions to derivative interactions involving several spin-2 fields. These new terms generically break diffeomorphism invariance(s) and as a result can lead to the propagation of 5 degrees of freedom for a single spin-2 field – analogous to ghost-free Massive Gravity. We discuss under what circumstances these new terms can be used to build healthy effective field theories and in the process establish the `Jordan’ and `Einstein’ frame pictures for Massive-, Bi- and Multi-Gravity.

On Consistent Kinetic and Derivative Interactions for Gravitons [Cross-Listing]

The only known fully ghost-free and consistent Lorentz-invariant kinetic term for a graviton (or indeed for any spin-2 field) is the Einstein-Hilbert term. Here we propose and investigate a new family of candidate kinetic interactions and their extensions to derivative interactions involving several spin-2 fields. These new terms generically break diffeomorphism invariance(s) and as a result can lead to the propagation of 5 degrees of freedom for a single spin-2 field – analogous to ghost-free Massive Gravity. We discuss under what circumstances these new terms can be used to build healthy effective field theories and in the process establish the `Jordan’ and `Einstein’ frame pictures for Massive-, Bi- and Multi-Gravity.

Multiple Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies

We study the gravitational lensing effect on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies performing a ray-tracing of the primordial CMB photons through intervening large-scale structures (LSS) distribution predicted by N-Body numerical simulations with a particular focus on the precise recovery of the lens-induced polarized counterpart of the source plane. We apply both a multiple plane ray-tracing and an effective deflection approach based on the Born approximation to deflect the CMB photons trajectories through the simulated lightcone. We discuss the results obtained with both these methods together with the impact of LSS non-linear evolution on the CMB temperature and polarization power spectra. We compare our results with semi-analytical approximations implemented in Boltzmann codes like, e.g., CAMB. We show that, with our current N-body setup, the predicted lensing power is recovered with good accuracy in a wide range of multipoles while excess power with respect to semi-analytic prescriptions is observed in the lensing potential on scales $\ell \gtrsim 3000$. We quantify the impact of the numerical effects connected to the resolution in the N-Body simulation together with the resolution and band-limit chosen to synthesise the CMB source plane. We found these quantities to be particularly important for the simulation of B-mode polarization power spectrum.

Tracing the Cosmic Web substructure with Lagrangian submanifold

A new computational paradigm for the analysis of substructure of the Cosmic Web in cosmological cold dark matter simulations is proposed. We introduce a new data-field — the flip-flop field —which carries wealth of information about the history and dynamics of the structure formation in the universe. The flip-flop field is an ordered data set in Lagrangian space representing the number of turns inside out sign reversals of an elementary volume of each collisionless fluid element represented by a computational particle in a N-body simulation. This field is computed using the Lagrangian submanifold, i.e. the three-dimensional dark matter sheet in the six-dimensional space formed by three Lagrangian and three Eulerian coordinates of the simulation particles. It is demonstrated that the very rich substructure of dark matter haloes and the void regions can be reliably and unambiguously recovered from the flip-flop field.

Wide-field adaptive optics performance in cosmological deep fields for multi-object spectroscopy with the European Extremely Large Telescope

A multi-object spectrograph on the forthcoming European Extremely Large Telescope will be required to operate with good sky coverage. Many of the interesting deep cosmological fields were deliberately chosen to be free of bright foreground stars, and therefore are potentially challenging for adaptive optics (AO) systems. Here we investigate multi-object AO performance using sub-fields chosen at random from within the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS)-S field, which is the worst case scenario for five deep fields used extensively in studies of high-redshift galaxies. Our AO system model is based on that of the proposed MOSAIC instrument but our findings are equally applicable to plans for multi-object spectroscopy on any of the planned Extremely Large Telescopes. Potential guide stars within these sub-fields are identified and used for simulations of AO correction. We achieve ensquared energies within 75~mas of between 25-35\% depending on the sub-field, which is sufficient to probe sub-kpc scales in high-redshift galaxies. We also investigate the effect of detector readout noise on AO system performance, and consider cases where natural guide stars are used for both high-order and tip-tilt-only AO correction. We also consider how performance scales with ensquared energy box size. In summary, the expected AO performance is sufficient for a MOSAIC-like instrument, even within deep fields characterised by a lack of bright foreground stars.

Modeling cosmic void statistics

Understanding the internal structure and spatial distribution of cosmic voids is crucial when considering them as probes of cosmology. We present recent advances in modeling void density- and velocity-profiles in real space, as well as void two-point statistics in redshift space, by examining voids identified via the watershed transform in state-of-the-art $\Lambda$CDM n-body simulations and mock galaxy catalogs. The simple and universal characteristics that emerge from these statistics indicate the self-similarity of large-scale structure and suggest cosmic voids to be among the most pristine objects to consider for future studies on the nature of dark energy, dark matter and modified gravity.

Trans-Planckian fluctuations and the stability of quantum mechanics

We present arguments suggesting that deviations from the Born probability rule could be generated for trans-Planckian field modes during inflation. Such deviations are theoretically possible in the de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave formulation of quantum mechanics, according to which the Born rule describes a state of statistical equilibrium. We suggest that a stable equilibrium state can exist only in restricted conditions: on a classical background spacetime that is globally hyperbolic or in a mild quantum-gravity regime in which there is an effective Schr\"odinger equation with a well-defined time parameter. These arguments suggest that quantum equilibrium will be unstable at the Planck scale. We construct a model in which quantum nonequilibrium is generated by a time-dependent regulator for pilot-wave dynamics, where the regulator is introduced to eliminate phase singularities. Applying our model to trans-Planckian modes that exit the Planck radius, we calculate the corrected primordial power spectrum and show that it displays a power excess (above a critical wavenumber). We briefly consider how our proposals could be tested by measurements of the cosmic microwave background.

Trans-Planckian fluctuations and the stability of quantum mechanics [Cross-Listing]

We present arguments suggesting that deviations from the Born probability rule could be generated for trans-Planckian field modes during inflation. Such deviations are theoretically possible in the de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave formulation of quantum mechanics, according to which the Born rule describes a state of statistical equilibrium. We suggest that a stable equilibrium state can exist only in restricted conditions: on a classical background spacetime that is globally hyperbolic or in a mild quantum-gravity regime in which there is an effective Schr\"odinger equation with a well-defined time parameter. These arguments suggest that quantum equilibrium will be unstable at the Planck scale. We construct a model in which quantum nonequilibrium is generated by a time-dependent regulator for pilot-wave dynamics, where the regulator is introduced to eliminate phase singularities. Applying our model to trans-Planckian modes that exit the Planck radius, we calculate the corrected primordial power spectrum and show that it displays a power excess (above a critical wavenumber). We briefly consider how our proposals could be tested by measurements of the cosmic microwave background.

Trans-Planckian fluctuations and the stability of quantum mechanics [Cross-Listing]

We present arguments suggesting that deviations from the Born probability rule could be generated for trans-Planckian field modes during inflation. Such deviations are theoretically possible in the de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave formulation of quantum mechanics, according to which the Born rule describes a state of statistical equilibrium. We suggest that a stable equilibrium state can exist only in restricted conditions: on a classical background spacetime that is globally hyperbolic or in a mild quantum-gravity regime in which there is an effective Schr\"odinger equation with a well-defined time parameter. These arguments suggest that quantum equilibrium will be unstable at the Planck scale. We construct a model in which quantum nonequilibrium is generated by a time-dependent regulator for pilot-wave dynamics, where the regulator is introduced to eliminate phase singularities. Applying our model to trans-Planckian modes that exit the Planck radius, we calculate the corrected primordial power spectrum and show that it displays a power excess (above a critical wavenumber). We briefly consider how our proposals could be tested by measurements of the cosmic microwave background.

The Early Universe with High-Scale Supersymmetry

The large tensor-to-scalar ratio reported by BICEP2 collaboration may lead to distinctive phenomenology of high-energy scale. Assuming the same origin of SUSY breaking between inflation and MSSM, we show model independent features in such high-scale SUSY. The simplest hybrid inflation, together with a new linear term for inflaton field which is induced by large gravitino mass, is excluded by BICEP2 data. For superpartner masses far above electroweak scale we estimate the reheating temperature $T_R$ after inflation. We find that $T_R$ might be beneath the value required by thermal leptogenesis if inflaton decays to its products perturbatively, but above it if non-perturbatively instead. Due to kinematically blocking effect the gravitino overproduction can be also evaded in high-scale SUSY.

The Early Universe with High-Scale Supersymmetry [Cross-Listing]

The large tensor-to-scalar ratio reported by BICEP2 collaboration may lead to distinctive phenomenology of high-energy scale. Assuming the same origin of SUSY breaking between inflation and MSSM, we show model independent features in such high-scale SUSY. The simplest hybrid inflation, together with a new linear term for inflaton field which is induced by large gravitino mass, is excluded by BICEP2 data. For superpartner masses far above electroweak scale we estimate the reheating temperature $T_R$ after inflation. We find that $T_R$ might be beneath the value required by thermal leptogenesis if inflaton decays to its products perturbatively, but above it if non-perturbatively instead. Due to kinematically blocking effect the gravitino overproduction can be also evaded in high-scale SUSY.

The Early Universe with High-Scale Supersymmetry [Cross-Listing]

The large tensor-to-scalar ratio reported by BICEP2 collaboration may lead to distinctive phenomenology of high-energy scale. Assuming the same origin of SUSY breaking between inflation and MSSM, we show model independent features in such high-scale SUSY. The simplest hybrid inflation, together with a new linear term for inflaton field which is induced by large gravitino mass, is excluded by BICEP2 data. For superpartner masses far above electroweak scale we estimate the reheating temperature $T_R$ after inflation. We find that $T_R$ might be beneath the value required by thermal leptogenesis if inflaton decays to its products perturbatively, but above it if non-perturbatively instead. Due to kinematically blocking effect the gravitino overproduction can be also evaded in high-scale SUSY.

Backreaction and Stochastic Effects in Single Field Inflation

The formalism of Stochastic Inflation is a powerful tool for analyzing backreaction of cosmological perturbations, and making precise predictions for inflationary observables. We demonstrate this with the simple m^2phi^2 model of inflation, wherein we obtain an effective field theory for IR modes of the inflaton, which remains coupled to UV modes through a classical noise. We compute slow-roll corrections to the evolution of UV modes (i.e. quantum fluctuations), and track this effect from the UV theory to the IR theory, where it manifests as a correction to the classical noise. We compute the stochastic correction to the spectral index of primordial perturbations, finding a small effect, and discuss models in which this effect can become large. We extend our analysis to tensor modes, and demonstrate that the stochastic approach allows us to recover the standard tensor tilt $n_T$, plus corrections.

Backreaction and Stochastic Effects in Single Field Inflation [Cross-Listing]

The formalism of Stochastic Inflation is a powerful tool for analyzing backreaction of cosmological perturbations, and making precise predictions for inflationary observables. We demonstrate this with the simple m^2phi^2 model of inflation, wherein we obtain an effective field theory for IR modes of the inflaton, which remains coupled to UV modes through a classical noise. We compute slow-roll corrections to the evolution of UV modes (i.e. quantum fluctuations), and track this effect from the UV theory to the IR theory, where it manifests as a correction to the classical noise. We compute the stochastic correction to the spectral index of primordial perturbations, finding a small effect, and discuss models in which this effect can become large. We extend our analysis to tensor modes, and demonstrate that the stochastic approach allows us to recover the standard tensor tilt $n_T$, plus corrections.

Backreaction and Stochastic Effects in Single Field Inflation [Cross-Listing]

The formalism of Stochastic Inflation is a powerful tool for analyzing backreaction of cosmological perturbations, and making precise predictions for inflationary observables. We demonstrate this with the simple m^2phi^2 model of inflation, wherein we obtain an effective field theory for IR modes of the inflaton, which remains coupled to UV modes through a classical noise. We compute slow-roll corrections to the evolution of UV modes (i.e. quantum fluctuations), and track this effect from the UV theory to the IR theory, where it manifests as a correction to the classical noise. We compute the stochastic correction to the spectral index of primordial perturbations, finding a small effect, and discuss models in which this effect can become large. We extend our analysis to tensor modes, and demonstrate that the stochastic approach allows us to recover the standard tensor tilt $n_T$, plus corrections.

 

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