Recent Postings from Cosmology and Extragalactic

Mass Calibration of Galaxy Clusters at Redshift 0.1-1.0 using Weak Lensing in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 Co-add

We present mass-richness relations found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 co-add. These relations were found using stacked weak lensing shear observed in a large sample of galaxy clusters. These mass-richness relations are presented for four redshift bins, $0.1 < z \leq 0.4$, $0.4 < z \leq 0.7$, $0.7 < z \leq 1.0$ and $0.1 < z \leq 1.0$. We describe the sample of galaxy clusters and explain how these clusters were found using a Voronoi Tessellation cluster finder. We fit an NFW profile to the stacked weak lensing shear signal in redshift and richness bins in order to measure virial mass $(M_{200})$. We describe several effects that can bias weak lensing measurements, including photometric redshift bias, the effect of the central BCG, halo miscentering, photometric redshift uncertainty and foreground galaxy contamination. We present mass-richness relations using richness measure $N_{VT}$ with each of these effects considered separately as well as considered altogether. We present values for the mass coefficient ($M_{200|20}$) and the power law slope ($\alpha$) for power law fits to the mass and richness values in each of the redshift bins. We find values of the mass coefficient of $8.30 \pm 0.682$, $13.8 \pm 1.94$, $27.3 \pm 14.7$ and $8.61 \pm 0.719 \times 10^{13} \; h^{-1} M_{sun}$ for each of the four redshift bins respectively. We find values of the power law slope of $0.988 \pm 0.0716$, $0.962 \pm 0.130$, $1.52 \pm 0.483$ and $1.01 \pm 0.0803$ respectively. Finally, we examine redshift evolution of the mass-richness relation.

Analytic Photometric Redshift Estimator for Type Ia Supernovae From the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

Accurate and precise photometric redshifts (photo-z’s) of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) can enable the use of SNe Ia, measured only with photometry, to probe cosmology. This dramatically increases the science return of supernova surveys planned for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). In this paper we describe a significantly improved version of the simple analytic photo-z estimator proposed by Wang (2007) and further developed by Wang, Narayan, and Wood-Vasey (2007). We apply it to 55,422 simulated SNe Ia generated using the SNANA package with the LSST filters. We find that the estimated errors on the photo-z’s, \sigma(z_{phot})/(1+z_{phot}), can be used as filters to produce a set of photo-z’s that have high precision, accuracy, and purity. Using SN Ia colors as well as SN Ia peak magnitude in the $i$ band, we obtain a set of photo-z’s with 2 percent accuracy (with \sigma(z_{phot}-z_{spec})/(1+z_{spec}) = 0.02), a bias in z_{phot} (the mean of z_{phot}-z_{spec}) of -9 X 10^{-5}, and an outlier fraction (with |(z_{phot}-z_{spec})/(1+z_{spec})|>0.1) of 0.23 percent, with the requirement that \sigma(z_{phot})/(1+z_{phot})<0.01. Using the SN Ia colors only, we obtain a set of photo-z’s with similar quality by requiring that \sigma(z_{phot})/(1+z_{phot})<0.007; this leads to a set of photo-z’s with 2 percent accuracy, a bias in z_{phot} of 5.9 X 10^{-4}, and an outlier fraction of 0.32 percent.

Non-Uniqueness of Classical Inflationary Trajectories on a High-Dimensional Landscape [Cross-Listing]

Motivated by the string landscape, inflation may happen on a high dimensional complicated potential. We propose a new way to construct some high dimensional random potentials, and study inflation on top of that, for up to 50-dimensions in field space. Especially, random bifurcations of classical inflationary trajectory are studied. It is shown that the bifurcation probability increases as a function of number of dimensions. Those random bifurcations are not consistent with observations, and dramatically limit the parameter space of inflation on a complicated landscape. For example, in 10 dimensions, only $10^{-3} \sim 10^{-6}$ of the parameter space volume leads to unique classical trajectories. The rest is ruled out by random bifurcations.

Non-Uniqueness of Classical Inflationary Trajectories on a High-Dimensional Landscape [Cross-Listing]

Motivated by the string landscape, inflation may happen on a high dimensional complicated potential. We propose a new way to construct some high dimensional random potentials, and study inflation on top of that, for up to 50-dimensions in field space. Especially, random bifurcations of classical inflationary trajectory are studied. It is shown that the bifurcation probability increases as a function of number of dimensions. Those random bifurcations are not consistent with observations, and dramatically limit the parameter space of inflation on a complicated landscape. For example, in 10 dimensions, only $10^{-3} \sim 10^{-6}$ of the parameter space volume leads to unique classical trajectories. The rest is ruled out by random bifurcations.

Non-Uniqueness of Classical Inflationary Trajectories on a High-Dimensional Landscape

Motivated by the string landscape, inflation may happen on a high dimensional complicated potential. We propose a new way to construct some high dimensional random potentials, and study inflation on top of that, for up to 50-dimensions in field space. Especially, random bifurcations of classical inflationary trajectory are studied. It is shown that the bifurcation probability increases as a function of number of dimensions. Those random bifurcations are not consistent with observations, and dramatically limit the parameter space of inflation on a complicated landscape. For example, in 10 dimensions, only $10^{-3} \sim 10^{-6}$ of the parameter space volume leads to unique classical trajectories. The rest is ruled out by random bifurcations.

Data augmentation for machine learning redshifts applied to SDSS galaxies

We present analyses of data augmentation for machine learning redshift estimation. Data augmentation makes a training sample more closely resemble a test sample, if the two base samples differ, in order to improve measured statistics of the test sample. We perform two sets of analyses by selecting 800k (1.7M) SDSS DR8 (DR10) galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts. We construct a base training set by imposing an artificial r band apparent magnitude cut to select only bright galaxies and then augment this base training set by using simulations and by applying the K-correct package to artificially place training set galaxies at a higher redshift. We obtain redshift estimates for the remaining faint galaxy sample, which are not used during training. We find that data augmentation reduces the error on the recovered redshifts by 40% in both sets of analyses, when compared to the difference in error between the ideal case and the non augmented case. The outlier fraction is also reduced by at least 10% and up to 80% using data augmentation. We finally quantify how the recovered redshifts degrade as one probes to deeper magnitudes past the artificial magnitude limit of the bright training sample. We find that at all apparent magnitudes explored, the use of data augmentation with tree based methods provide a estimate of the galaxy redshift with a negligible bias, although the error on the recovered values increases as we probe to deeper magnitudes. These results have applications for surveys which have a spectroscopic training set which forms a biased sample of all photometric galaxies, for example if the spectroscopic detection magnitude limit is shallower than the photometric limit.

Superbounce and Loop Quantum Ekpyrotic Cosmologies from Modified Gravity: $F(R)$, $F(G)$ and $F(T)$ Theories

We investigate the realization of two bouncing paradigms, namely of the superbounce and the loop quantum cosmological ekpyrosis, in the framework of various modified gravities. In particular, we focus on the $F(R)$, $F(G)$ and $F(T)$ gravities, and we reconstruct their specific subclasses which lead to such universe evolutions. These subclasses constitute from power laws, polynomials, or hypergeometric ansatzes, which can be approximated by power laws. The qualitative similarity of different effective gravities which realize the above two bouncing cosmologies, indicates to some universality lying behind such a bounce. Finally, performing a linear perturbation analysis, we show that the obtained solutions are conditionally or fully stable.

Superbounce and Loop Quantum Ekpyrotic Cosmologies from Modified Gravity: $F(R)$, $F(G)$ and $F(T)$ Theories [Cross-Listing]

We investigate the realization of two bouncing paradigms, namely of the superbounce and the loop quantum cosmological ekpyrosis, in the framework of various modified gravities. In particular, we focus on the $F(R)$, $F(G)$ and $F(T)$ gravities, and we reconstruct their specific subclasses which lead to such universe evolutions. These subclasses constitute from power laws, polynomials, or hypergeometric ansatzes, which can be approximated by power laws. The qualitative similarity of different effective gravities which realize the above two bouncing cosmologies, indicates to some universality lying behind such a bounce. Finally, performing a linear perturbation analysis, we show that the obtained solutions are conditionally or fully stable.

Superbounce and Loop Quantum Ekpyrotic Cosmologies from Modified Gravity: $F(R)$, $F(G)$ and $F(T)$ Theories [Cross-Listing]

We investigate the realization of two bouncing paradigms, namely of the superbounce and the loop quantum cosmological ekpyrosis, in the framework of various modified gravities. In particular, we focus on the $F(R)$, $F(G)$ and $F(T)$ gravities, and we reconstruct their specific subclasses which lead to such universe evolutions. These subclasses constitute from power laws, polynomials, or hypergeometric ansatzes, which can be approximated by power laws. The qualitative similarity of different effective gravities which realize the above two bouncing cosmologies, indicates to some universality lying behind such a bounce. Finally, performing a linear perturbation analysis, we show that the obtained solutions are conditionally or fully stable.

A one-dimensional Chandrasekhar-mass delayed-detonation model for the broad-lined Type Ia supernova 2002bo

We present 1D non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) time-dependent radiative-transfer simulations of a Chandrasekhar-mass delayed-detonation model which synthesizes 0.51 Msun of 56Ni, and confront our results to the Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) 2002bo over the first 100 days of its evolution. Assuming only homologous expansion, this same model reproduces the bolometric and multi-band light curves, the secondary near-infrared (NIR) maxima, and the optical and NIR spectra. The chemical stratification of our model qualitatively agrees with previous inferences by Stehle et al., but reveals significant quantitative differences for both iron-group and intermediate-mass elements. We show that +/-0.1 Msun (i.e., +/-20 per cent) variations in 56Ni mass have a modest impact on the bolometric and colour evolution of our model. One notable exception is the U-band, where a larger abundance of iron-group elements results in less opaque ejecta through ionization effects, our model with more 56Ni displaying a higher near-UV flux level. In the NIR range, such variations in 56Ni mass affect the timing of the secondary maxima but not their magnitude, in agreement with observational results. Moreover, the variation in the I, J, and K_s magnitudes is less than 0.1 mag within ~10 days from bolometric maximum, confirming the potential of NIR photometry of SNe Ia for cosmology. Overall, the delayed-detonation mechanism in single Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf progenitors seems well suited for SN 2002bo and similar SNe Ia displaying a broad Si II 6355 A line. Whatever multidimensional processes are at play during the explosion leading to these events, they must conspire to produce an ejecta comparable to our spherically-symmetric model.

21CMMC: An MCMC analysis tool enabling astrophysical parameter studies of the cosmic 21cm signal

We introduce 21CMMC: a parallelized, Monte Carlo Markov Chain analysis tool, incorporating the epoch of reionization (EoR) semi-numerical simulation 21CMFAST. 21CMMC estimates astrophysical parameter constraints from 21cm EoR experiments, accommodating a variety of EoR models, as well as priors on model parameters and the reionization history. To illustrate its utility, we consider two different EoR scenarios, one with a single population of galaxies (with a mass-independent ionizing efficiency) and a second, more general model with two different, feedback-regulated populations (each with mass-dependent ionizing efficiencies). As an example, combining three observations (z=8, 9 and 10) of the 21cm power spectrum with a conservative noise estimate and uniform model priors, we find that LOFAR/HERA/SKA can constrain common reionization parameters: the ionizing efficiency (or similarly the escape fraction), the mean free path of ionizing photons, and the log of the minimum virial temperature of star-forming halos to within 45.3/22.0/16.7, 33.5/18.4/17.8 and 6.3/3.3/2.4 per cent, ~$1\sigma$ fractional uncertainty, respectively. Similarly, the fractional uncertainty on the average neutral fraction can be constrained to within $\lesssim$10 per cent for HERA and SKA. By studying the resulting impact on astrophysical constraints, 21CMMC can be used to optimize: (i) interferometer designs; (ii) foreground cleaning algorithms; (iii) observing strategies; (iv) alternative statistics characterizing the 21cm signal; and (v) synergies with other observational programs.

Affleck-Dine Sneutrino Inflation

Motivated by the coincidence between the Hubble scale during inflation and the typical see-saw neutrino mass scale, we present a supergravity model where the inflaton is identified with a linear combination of right-handed sneutrino fields. The model accommodates an inflaton potential that is flatter than quadratic chaotic inflation, resulting in a measurable but not yet ruled out tensor-to-scalar ratio. Small CP-violation in the neutrino mass matrix and supersymmetry breaking yield an evolution in the complex plane for the sneutrino fields. This induces a net lepton charge that, via the Affleck-Dine mechanism, can be the origin of the observed baryon asymmetry of the universe.

Affleck-Dine Sneutrino Inflation [Cross-Listing]

Motivated by the coincidence between the Hubble scale during inflation and the typical see-saw neutrino mass scale, we present a supergravity model where the inflaton is identified with a linear combination of right-handed sneutrino fields. The model accommodates an inflaton potential that is flatter than quadratic chaotic inflation, resulting in a measurable but not yet ruled out tensor-to-scalar ratio. Small CP-violation in the neutrino mass matrix and supersymmetry breaking yield an evolution in the complex plane for the sneutrino fields. This induces a net lepton charge that, via the Affleck-Dine mechanism, can be the origin of the observed baryon asymmetry of the universe.

Affleck-Dine Sneutrino Inflation [Cross-Listing]

Motivated by the coincidence between the Hubble scale during inflation and the typical see-saw neutrino mass scale, we present a supergravity model where the inflaton is identified with a linear combination of right-handed sneutrino fields. The model accommodates an inflaton potential that is flatter than quadratic chaotic inflation, resulting in a measurable but not yet ruled out tensor-to-scalar ratio. Small CP-violation in the neutrino mass matrix and supersymmetry breaking yield an evolution in the complex plane for the sneutrino fields. This induces a net lepton charge that, via the Affleck-Dine mechanism, can be the origin of the observed baryon asymmetry of the universe.

Interacting quintessence from a variational approach Part I: algebraic couplings [Cross-Listing]

We present a new approach to build models of quintessence interacting with dark or baryonic matter. We use a variational approach for relativistic fluids to realize an effective description of matter fields at the Lagrangian level. The coupling is introduced directly in the action by considering a single function mixing the dynamical degrees of freedom of the theory. The resulting gravitational field equations are derived by variations with respect to the independent variables. New interesting phenomenology can be obtained at both small scales, where new screening mechanisms for scalar fields can be realized, and large scales, where one finds an original and rich class of interacting quintessence models. The background cosmology of two of these models is studied in detail using dynamical system techniques. We find a variety of interesting results: for instance, these models contain dark energy dominated late time attractors and scaling solutions, both with early time matter dominated epochs and a possible inflationary origin. In general this new approach provides the starting point for future in depth studies on new interacting quintessence models.

Interacting quintessence from a variational approach Part I: algebraic couplings [Cross-Listing]

We present a new approach to build models of quintessence interacting with dark or baryonic matter. We use a variational approach for relativistic fluids to realize an effective description of matter fields at the Lagrangian level. The coupling is introduced directly in the action by considering a single function mixing the dynamical degrees of freedom of the theory. The resulting gravitational field equations are derived by variations with respect to the independent variables. New interesting phenomenology can be obtained at both small scales, where new screening mechanisms for scalar fields can be realized, and large scales, where one finds an original and rich class of interacting quintessence models. The background cosmology of two of these models is studied in detail using dynamical system techniques. We find a variety of interesting results: for instance, these models contain dark energy dominated late time attractors and scaling solutions, both with early time matter dominated epochs and a possible inflationary origin. In general this new approach provides the starting point for future in depth studies on new interacting quintessence models.

Interacting quintessence from a variational approach Part I: algebraic couplings

We present a new approach to build models of quintessence interacting with dark or baryonic matter. We use a variational approach for relativistic fluids to realize an effective description of matter fields at the Lagrangian level. The coupling is introduced directly in the action by considering a single function mixing the dynamical degrees of freedom of the theory. The resulting gravitational field equations are derived by variations with respect to the independent variables. New interesting phenomenology can be obtained at both small scales, where new screening mechanisms for scalar fields can be realized, and large scales, where one finds an original and rich class of interacting quintessence models. The background cosmology of two of these models is studied in detail using dynamical system techniques. We find a variety of interesting results: for instance, these models contain dark energy dominated late time attractors and scaling solutions, both with early time matter dominated epochs and a possible inflationary origin. In general this new approach provides the starting point for future in depth studies on new interacting quintessence models.

Cosmic Polarization Rotation: an Astrophysical Test of Fundamental Physics

Possible violations of fundamental physical principles, e.g. the Einstein Equivalence Principle on which all metric theories of gravity are based, including General Relativity, would lead to a rotation of the plane of polarization for linearly polarized radiation traveling over cosmological distances, the so-called cosmic polarization rotation (CPR). We review here the astrophysical tests which have been carried out so far to check if CPR exists. These are using the radio and UV polarization of radio galaxies and the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (both E-mode and B-mode). These tests so far have been negative, leading to upper limits of the order of one degree on any CPR angle, thereby increasing our confidence in those physical principles, including General Relativity. We also discuss future prospects in detecting CPR or improving the constraints on it.

Quantum Gravity and the Large Scale Anomaly [Cross-Listing]

The spectrum of primordial perturbations obtained by calculating the quantum gravitational corrections to the dynamics of scalar perturbations is compared with Planck and BICEP2 public data. The quantum gravitational effects are calculated in the context of a Wheeler-De Witt approach and have quite distinctive features. We constrain the free parameters of the theory by comparison with observations.

Quantum Gravity and the Large Scale Anomaly [Cross-Listing]

The spectrum of primordial perturbations obtained by calculating the quantum gravitational corrections to the dynamics of scalar perturbations is compared with Planck and BICEP2 public data. The quantum gravitational effects are calculated in the context of a Wheeler-De Witt approach and have quite distinctive features. We constrain the free parameters of the theory by comparison with observations.

Constrains on Dark Matter sterile neutrino resonant production in the light of Planck [Cross-Listing]

Recently, few independent detections of a weak X-ray emission line at an energy of ~3.5 keV seen toward a number of astrophysical sites have been reported. If this signal will be confirmed to be the signature of decaying DM sterile neutrino with a mass of ~7.1 keV, then the cosmological observables should be consistent with its properties. In this paper we place constraints on the sterile neutrino resonant production parameters and asymmetry lepton number by using most of the present cosmological measurements. We compute the radiation and matter perturbations including the full resonance sweep solution for active – sterile neutrino flavor conversion and place constraints on the cosmological parameters and sterile neutrino properties. We find the sterile neutrino upper limits for mass and mixing angle of 7.86 keV (equivalent to 2.54 keV thermal mass) and 9.41 x 10^{-9} (at 95% CL) respectively, for a lepton number per flavor of 0.0042, that is significantly higher than that inferred in Abazajian 2014 from the linear large scale structure constraints. This reflects the sensitivity of the high precision CMB anisotropies to the helium abundance yield which in turn is set by the $\nu_e$ lepton number and non-thermal spectrum. Other cosmological parameters are in agreement with the predictions of the minimal extension of the base \LambdaCDM model except for the active neutrino total mass upper limit that is decreased to 0.21 eV (95% CL).

Constrains on Dark Matter sterile neutrino resonant production in the light of Planck [Replacement]

Few independent detections of a weak X-ray emission line at an energy of ~3.5 keV seen toward a number of astrophysical sites have been reported. If this signal will be confirmed to be the signature of decaying DM sterile neutrino with a mass of ~7.1 keV, then the cosmological observables should be consistent with its properties. We compute the radiation and matter perturbations including the full resonance sweep solution for active – sterile neutrino flavor conversion and place constraints on the cosmological parameters and sterile neutrino properties by using most of the present cosmological measurements. We find the sterile neutrino upper limits for mass and mixing angle of 7.86 keV (equivalent to 2.54 keV thermal mass) and 9.41 x 10^{-9} (at 95% CL) respectively, for a lepton number per flavor of 0.0042, that is significantly higher than that inferred in Abazajian (2014) from the linear large scale structure constraints. This reflects the sensitivity of the high precision CMB anisotropies to the helium abundance yield which in turn is set by the electron neutrino lepton number and the non-thermal active neutrino spectra. Other cosmological parameters are in agreement with the predictions of the minimal extension of the base LambdaCDM model except for the active neutrino total mass uper limit that is decreased to 0.21 eV (95% CL).

Constrains on Dark Matter sterile neutrino resonant production in the light of Planck [Replacement]

Few independent detections of a weak X-ray emission line at an energy of ~3.5 keV seen toward a number of astrophysical sites have been reported. If this signal will be confirmed to be the signature of decaying DM sterile neutrino with a mass of ~7.1 keV, then the cosmological observables should be consistent with its properties. We compute the radiation and matter perturbations including the full resonance sweep solution for active – sterile neutrino flavor conversion and place constraints on the cosmological parameters and sterile neutrino properties by using most of the present cosmological measurements. We find the sterile neutrino upper limits for mass and mixing angle of 7.86 keV (equivalent to 2.54 keV thermal mass) and 9.41 x 10^{-9} (at 95% CL) respectively, for a lepton number per flavor of 0.0042, that is significantly higher than that inferred in Abazajian (2014) from the linear large scale structure constraints. This reflects the sensitivity of the high precision CMB anisotropies to the helium abundance yield which in turn is set by the electron neutrino lepton number and the non-thermal active neutrino spectra. Other cosmological parameters are in agreement with the predictions of the minimal extension of the base LambdaCDM model except for the active neutrino total mass uper limit that is decreased to 0.21 eV (95% CL).

Constrains on Dark Matter sterile neutrino resonant production in the light of Planck

Recently, few independent detections of a weak X-ray emission line at an energy of ~3.5 keV seen toward a number of astrophysical sites have been reported. If this signal will be confirmed to be the signature of decaying DM sterile neutrino with a mass of ~7.1 keV, then the cosmological observables should be consistent with its properties. In this paper we place constraints on the sterile neutrino resonant production parameters and asymmetry lepton number by using most of the present cosmological measurements. We compute the radiation and matter perturbations including the full resonance sweep solution for active – sterile neutrino flavor conversion and place constraints on the cosmological parameters and sterile neutrino properties. We find the sterile neutrino upper limits for mass and mixing angle of 7.86 keV (equivalent to 2.54 keV thermal mass) and 9.41 x 10^{-9} (at 95% CL) respectively, for a lepton number per flavor of 0.0042, that is significantly higher than that inferred in Abazajian 2014 from the linear large scale structure constraints. This reflects the sensitivity of the high precision CMB anisotropies to the helium abundance yield which in turn is set by the $\nu_e$ lepton number and non-thermal spectrum. Other cosmological parameters are in agreement with the predictions of the minimal extension of the base \LambdaCDM model except for the active neutrino total mass upper limit that is decreased to 0.21 eV (95% CL).

Oscillating modulation to B-mode polarization from varying propagating speed of primordial gravitational waves

In low-energy effective string theory and modified gravity theories, the propagating speed $c_T$ of primordial gravitational waves may deviate from unity. We find that the step-like variation of $c_T$ during slow-roll inflation may result in an oscillating modulation to the B-mode polarization spectrum, which can hardly be imitated by adjusting other cosmological parameters, and the intensity of the modulation is determined by the dynamics of $c_T$. Thus provided that the foreground contribution is under control, high-precision CMB polarization observations will be able to put tight constraint on the variation of $c_T$, and so the corresponding theories.

Oscillating modulation to B-mode polarization from varying propagating speed of primordial gravitational waves [Cross-Listing]

In low-energy effective string theory and modified gravity theories, the propagating speed $c_T$ of primordial gravitational waves may deviate from unity. We find that the step-like variation of $c_T$ during slow-roll inflation may result in an oscillating modulation to the B-mode polarization spectrum, which can hardly be imitated by adjusting other cosmological parameters, and the intensity of the modulation is determined by the dynamics of $c_T$. Thus provided that the foreground contribution is under control, high-precision CMB polarization observations will be able to put tight constraint on the variation of $c_T$, and so the corresponding theories.

Oscillating modulation to B-mode polarization from varying propagating speed of primordial gravitational waves [Cross-Listing]

In low-energy effective string theory and modified gravity theories, the propagating speed $c_T$ of primordial gravitational waves may deviate from unity. We find that the step-like variation of $c_T$ during slow-roll inflation may result in an oscillating modulation to the B-mode polarization spectrum, which can hardly be imitated by adjusting other cosmological parameters, and the intensity of the modulation is determined by the dynamics of $c_T$. Thus provided that the foreground contribution is under control, high-precision CMB polarization observations will be able to put tight constraint on the variation of $c_T$, and so the corresponding theories.

Primordial magnetic fields from self-ordering scalar fields

A symmetry-breaking phase transition in the early universe could have led to the formation of cosmic defects. Because these defects dynamically excite not only scalar and tensor type cosmological perturbations but also vector type ones, they may serve as a source of primordial magnetic fields. In this study, we calculate the time evolution and the spectrum of magnetic fields that are generated by a type of cosmic defects, called global textures, using the non-linear sigma (NLSM) model. Based on the standard cosmological perturbation theory, we show, both analytically and numerically, that a vector-mode relative velocity between photon and baryon fluids is induced by textures, which inevitably leads to the generation of magnetic fields over a wide range of scales. We find that the amplitude of the magnetic fields is given by $B\sim{10^{-9}}{((1+z)/10^3)^{-2.5}}({v}/{m_{\rm pl}})^2({k}/{\rm Mpc^{-1}})^{3.5}/{\sqrt{N}}$ Gauss in the radiation dominated era for $k\lesssim 1$ Mpc$^{-1}$, with $v$ being the vacuum expectation value of the O(N) symmetric scalar fields. By extrapolating our numerical result toward smaller scales, we expect that $B\sim {10^{-17}}((1+z)/1000)^{-1/2}({v}/{m_{\rm pl}})^2({k}/{\rm Mpc^{-1}})^{1/2}/{\sqrt{N}}$ Gauss on scales of $k\gtrsim 1$ Mpc$^{-1}$ at redshift $z\gtrsim 1100$. This might be a seed of the magnetic fields observed on large scales today.

Explaining AMS-02 positron excess and muon anomalous magnetic moment in dark left-right gauge model

In a Dark left-right gauge model, the neutral component of right-handed lepton doublet is odd under generalized R-parity and thus the lightest one serves as the dark matter (DM) candidate. The DM in this model dominantly annihilates into leptonic final states and thus satisfy the correct relic abundance. We explain AMS-02 positron excess by the annihilation of 800 GeV dark matter into $\mu^+\mu^-\gamma$, through a t-channel exchange of an additional charged triplet Higgs boson. The DM is leptophilic which is useful for explaining the non-observation of any antiproton excess which would generically be expected from DM annihilation. The large cross-section needed to explain AMS-02 also requires an astrophysical boost. In addition, we show that the muon $g-2$ receives required contribution from singly and doubly charged triplet Higgs in the loops.

Explaining AMS-02 positron excess and muon anomalous magnetic moment in dark left-right gauge model [Cross-Listing]

In a Dark left-right gauge model, the neutral component of right-handed lepton doublet is odd under generalized R-parity and thus the lightest one serves as the dark matter (DM) candidate. The DM in this model dominantly annihilates into leptonic final states and thus satisfy the correct relic abundance. We explain AMS-02 positron excess by the annihilation of 800 GeV dark matter into $\mu^+\mu^-\gamma$, through a t-channel exchange of an additional charged triplet Higgs boson. The DM is leptophilic which is useful for explaining the non-observation of any antiproton excess which would generically be expected from DM annihilation. The large cross-section needed to explain AMS-02 also requires an astrophysical boost. In addition, we show that the muon $g-2$ receives required contribution from singly and doubly charged triplet Higgs in the loops.

Simulating the formation of massive seed black holes in the early Universe. I: An improved chemical model

The direct collapse model for the formation of massive seed black holes in the early Universe attempts to explain the observed number density of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at $z \sim 6$ by assuming that they grow from seeds with masses M > 10000 solar masses that form by the direct collapse of metal-free gas in atomic cooling halos in which H2 cooling is suppressed by a strong extragalactic radiation field. The viability of this model depends on the strength of the radiation field required to suppress H2 cooling, $J_{\rm crit}$: if this is too large, then too few seeds will form to explain the observed number density of SMBHs. In order to determine $J_{\rm crit}$ reliably, we need to be able to accurately model the formation and destruction of H2 in gas illuminated by an extremely strong radiation field. In this paper, we use a reaction-based reduction technique to analyze the chemistry of H2 in these conditions, allowing us to identify the key chemical reactions that are responsible for determining the value of $J_{\rm crit}$. We construct a reduced network of 26 reactions that allows us to determine $J_{\rm crit}$ accurately, and compare it with previous treatments in the literature. We show that previous studies have often omitted one or more important chemical reactions, and that these omissions introduce an uncertainty of up to a factor of three into previous determinations of $J_{\rm crit}$.

The Dark Force: Astrophysical Repulsion from Dark Energy [Cross-Listing]

Dark energy (i.e., a cosmological constant) leads, in the Newtonian approximation, to a repulsive force which grows linearly with distance. We discuss possible astrophysical effects of this "dark" force. For example, the dark force overcomes the gravitational attraction from an object (e.g., dwarf galaxy) of mass $10^7 M_\odot$ at a distance of $~ 23$ kpc. It seems possible that observable velocities of bound satellites (rotation curves) could be significantly affected, and therefore used to measure the dark energy density.

The Dark Force: Astrophysical Repulsion from Dark Energy [Cross-Listing]

Dark energy (i.e., a cosmological constant) leads, in the Newtonian approximation, to a repulsive force which grows linearly with distance. We discuss possible astrophysical effects of this "dark" force. For example, the dark force overcomes the gravitational attraction from an object (e.g., dwarf galaxy) of mass $10^7 M_\odot$ at a distance of $~ 23$ kpc. It seems possible that observable velocities of bound satellites (rotation curves) could be significantly affected, and therefore used to measure the dark energy density.

The Dark Force: Astrophysical Repulsion from Dark Energy

Dark energy (i.e., a cosmological constant) leads, in the Newtonian approximation, to a repulsive force which grows linearly with distance. We discuss possible astrophysical effects of this "dark" force. For example, the dark force overcomes the gravitational attraction from an object (e.g., dwarf galaxy) of mass $10^7 M_\odot$ at a distance of $~ 23$ kpc. It seems possible that observable velocities of bound satellites (rotation curves) could be significantly affected, and therefore used to measure the dark energy density.

The contributions of matter inside and outside of haloes to the matter power spectrum

Halo-based models have been successful in predicting the clustering of matter. However, the validity of the postulate that the clustering is fully determined by matter inside haloes remains largely untested, and it is not clear a priori whether non-virialised matter might contribute significantly to the non-linear clustering signal. Here, we investigate the contribution of haloes to the matter power spectrum as a function of both scale and halo mass by combining a set of cosmological N-body simulations to calculate the contributions of different spherical overdensity regions, Friends-of-Friends (FoF) groups and matter outside haloes to the power spectrum. We find that matter inside spherical overdensity regions of size R200,mean cannot account for all power for 1<k<100 h/Mpc, regardless of the minimum halo mass. At most, it accounts for 95% of the power (k>20 h/Mpc). For 2<k<10 h/Mpc, haloes with mass M200,mean<10^11 Msun/h contribute negligibly to the power spectrum, and our results appear to be converged with decreasing halo mass. When haloes are taken to be regions of size R200,crit, the amount of power unaccounted for is larger on all scales. Accounting also for matter inside FoF groups but outside R200,mean increases the contribution of halo matter on most scales probed here by 5-15%. Matter inside FoF groups with M200,mean>10^9 Msun/h accounts for essentially all power for 3<k<100 h/Mpc. We therefore expect halo models that ignore the contribution of matter outside R200,mean to overestimate the contribution of haloes of any mass to the power on small scales (k>1 h/Mpc).

The Energy-Dependence of GRB Minimum Variability Timescales

We constrain the minimum variability timescales for 938 GRBs observed by the Fermi/GBM instrument prior to July 11, 2012. The tightest constraints on progenitor radii derived from these timescales are obtained from light curves in the hardest energy channel. In the softer bands — or from measurements of the same GRBs in the hard X-rays from Swift — we show that variability timescales tend to be a factor 2–3 longer. Applying a survival analysis to account for detections and upper limits, we find median minimum timescale in the rest frame for long-duration and short-duration GRBs of 45 ms and 10 ms, respectively. Fewer than 10% of GRBs show evidence for variability on timescales below 2 ms. These shortest timescales require Lorentz factors $\gtrsim 400$ and imply typical emission radii $R \approx 1 {\times} 10^{14}$ cm for long-duration GRBs and $R \approx 3 {\times} 10^{13}$ cm for short-duration GRBs. We discuss implications for the GRB fireball model and investigate whether GRB minimum timescales evolve with cosmic time.

Cosmic Axion Bose-Einstein Condensation

QCD axions are a well-motivated candidate for cold dark matter. Cold axions are produced in the early universe by vacuum realignment, axion string decay and axion domain wall decay. We show that cold axions thermalize via their gravitational self-interactions, and form a Bose-Einstein condensate. As a result, axion dark matter behaves differently from the other proposed forms of dark matter. The differences are observable.

Cosmic Axion Bose-Einstein Condensation [Cross-Listing]

QCD axions are a well-motivated candidate for cold dark matter. Cold axions are produced in the early universe by vacuum realignment, axion string decay and axion domain wall decay. We show that cold axions thermalize via their gravitational self-interactions, and form a Bose-Einstein condensate. As a result, axion dark matter behaves differently from the other proposed forms of dark matter. The differences are observable.

A separate universe view of the asymmetric sky [Cross-Listing]

We provide a unified description of the hemispherical asymmetry in the cosmic microwave background generated by the mechanism proposed by Erickcek, Kamionkowski, and Carroll, using a delta N formalism that consistently accounts for the asymmetry-generating mode throughout. We derive a general form for the power spectrum which explicitly exhibits the broken translational invariance. This can be directly compared to cosmic microwave background observables, including the observed quadrupole and fNL values, automatically incorporating the Grishchuk–Zel’dovich effect. Our calculation unifies and extends previous calculations in the literature, in particular giving the full dependence of observables on the phase of our location in the super-horizon mode that generates the asymmetry. We demonstrate how the apparently different results obtained by previous authors arise as different limiting cases. We confirm the existence of non-linear contributions to the microwave background quadrupole from the super-horizon mode identified by Erickcek et al. and further explored by Kanno et al., and show that those contributions are always significant in parameter regimes capable of explaining the observed asymmetry. We indicate example parameter values capable of explaining the observed power asymmetry without violating other observational bounds.

A separate universe view of the asymmetric sky [Cross-Listing]

We provide a unified description of the hemispherical asymmetry in the cosmic microwave background generated by the mechanism proposed by Erickcek, Kamionkowski, and Carroll, using a delta N formalism that consistently accounts for the asymmetry-generating mode throughout. We derive a general form for the power spectrum which explicitly exhibits the broken translational invariance. This can be directly compared to cosmic microwave background observables, including the observed quadrupole and fNL values, automatically incorporating the Grishchuk–Zel’dovich effect. Our calculation unifies and extends previous calculations in the literature, in particular giving the full dependence of observables on the phase of our location in the super-horizon mode that generates the asymmetry. We demonstrate how the apparently different results obtained by previous authors arise as different limiting cases. We confirm the existence of non-linear contributions to the microwave background quadrupole from the super-horizon mode identified by Erickcek et al. and further explored by Kanno et al., and show that those contributions are always significant in parameter regimes capable of explaining the observed asymmetry. We indicate example parameter values capable of explaining the observed power asymmetry without violating other observational bounds.

A separate universe view of the asymmetric sky

We provide a unified description of the hemispherical asymmetry in the cosmic microwave background generated by the mechanism proposed by Erickcek, Kamionkowski, and Carroll, using a delta N formalism that consistently accounts for the asymmetry-generating mode throughout. We derive a general form for the power spectrum which explicitly exhibits the broken translational invariance. This can be directly compared to cosmic microwave background observables, including the observed quadrupole and fNL values, automatically incorporating the Grishchuk–Zel’dovich effect. Our calculation unifies and extends previous calculations in the literature, in particular giving the full dependence of observables on the phase of our location in the super-horizon mode that generates the asymmetry. We demonstrate how the apparently different results obtained by previous authors arise as different limiting cases. We confirm the existence of non-linear contributions to the microwave background quadrupole from the super-horizon mode identified by Erickcek et al. and further explored by Kanno et al., and show that those contributions are always significant in parameter regimes capable of explaining the observed asymmetry. We indicate example parameter values capable of explaining the observed power asymmetry without violating other observational bounds.

A separate universe view of the asymmetric sky [Cross-Listing]

We provide a unified description of the hemispherical asymmetry in the cosmic microwave background generated by the mechanism proposed by Erickcek, Kamionkowski, and Carroll, using a delta N formalism that consistently accounts for the asymmetry-generating mode throughout. We derive a general form for the power spectrum which explicitly exhibits the broken translational invariance. This can be directly compared to cosmic microwave background observables, including the observed quadrupole and fNL values, automatically incorporating the Grishchuk–Zel’dovich effect. Our calculation unifies and extends previous calculations in the literature, in particular giving the full dependence of observables on the phase of our location in the super-horizon mode that generates the asymmetry. We demonstrate how the apparently different results obtained by previous authors arise as different limiting cases. We confirm the existence of non-linear contributions to the microwave background quadrupole from the super-horizon mode identified by Erickcek et al. and further explored by Kanno et al., and show that those contributions are always significant in parameter regimes capable of explaining the observed asymmetry. We indicate example parameter values capable of explaining the observed power asymmetry without violating other observational bounds.

Vacuum Fluctuations of a Scalar Field during Inflation: Quantum versus Stochastic Analysis [Cross-Listing]

We consider an infrared truncated massless minimally coupled scalar field with a quartic self-interaction in the locally de Sitter background of an inflating universe. We compute the two-point correlation function of the scalar at one and two-loop order applying quantum field theory. The tree-order correlator at a fixed comoving separation (that is at increasing physical distance) freezes in to a nonzero value. At a fixed physical distance, it grows linearly with comoving time. The one-loop correlator, which is the dominant quantum correction, implies a negative temporal growth in the correlation function, at this order, at a fixed comoving separation and at a fixed physical distance. We also obtain quantitative results for variance in space and time of one and two-loop correlators and infer that the contrast between the vacuum expectation value and the variance becomes less pronounced when the loop corrections are included. Finally, we repeat the analysis of the model applying a stochastic field theory and reach the same conclusions.

Vacuum Fluctuations of a Scalar Field during Inflation: Quantum versus Stochastic Analysis

We consider an infrared truncated massless minimally coupled scalar field with a quartic self-interaction in the locally de Sitter background of an inflating universe. We compute the two-point correlation function of the scalar at one and two-loop order applying quantum field theory. The tree-order correlator at a fixed comoving separation (that is at increasing physical distance) freezes in to a nonzero value. At a fixed physical distance, it grows linearly with comoving time. The one-loop correlator, which is the dominant quantum correction, implies a negative temporal growth in the correlation function, at this order, at a fixed comoving separation and at a fixed physical distance. We also obtain quantitative results for variance in space and time of one and two-loop correlators and infer that the contrast between the vacuum expectation value and the variance becomes less pronounced when the loop corrections are included. Finally, we repeat the analysis of the model applying a stochastic field theory and reach the same conclusions.

Vacuum Fluctuations of a Scalar Field during Inflation: Quantum versus Stochastic Analysis [Cross-Listing]

We consider an infrared truncated massless minimally coupled scalar field with a quartic self-interaction in the locally de Sitter background of an inflating universe. We compute the two-point correlation function of the scalar at one and two-loop order applying quantum field theory. The tree-order correlator at a fixed comoving separation (that is at increasing physical distance) freezes in to a nonzero value. At a fixed physical distance, it grows linearly with comoving time. The one-loop correlator, which is the dominant quantum correction, implies a negative temporal growth in the correlation function, at this order, at a fixed comoving separation and at a fixed physical distance. We also obtain quantitative results for variance in space and time of one and two-loop correlators and infer that the contrast between the vacuum expectation value and the variance becomes less pronounced when the loop corrections are included. Finally, we repeat the analysis of the model applying a stochastic field theory and reach the same conclusions.

Challenges for Large-Field Inflation and Moduli Stabilization [Cross-Listing]

We analyze the interplay between K\"ahler moduli stabilization and chaotic inflation in supergravity. While heavy moduli decouple from inflation in the supersymmetric limit, supersymmetry breaking generically introduces non-decoupling effects. These lead to inflation driven by a soft mass term, $m_\varphi^2 \sim m m_{3/2}$, where $m$ is a supersymmetric mass parameter. This scenario needs no stabilizer field, but the stability of moduli during inflation imposes a large supersymmetry breaking scale, $m_{3/2} \gg H$, and a careful choice of initial conditions. This is illustrated in three prominent examples of moduli stabilization: KKLT stabilization, K\"ahler Uplifting, and the Large Volume Scenario. Remarkably, all models have a universal effective inflaton potential which is flattened compared to quadratic inflation. Hence, they share universal predictions for the CMB observables, in particular a lower bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, $r \gtrsim 0.05$.

Challenges for Large-Field Inflation and Moduli Stabilization [Cross-Listing]

We analyze the interplay between K\"ahler moduli stabilization and chaotic inflation in supergravity. While heavy moduli decouple from inflation in the supersymmetric limit, supersymmetry breaking generically introduces non-decoupling effects. These lead to inflation driven by a soft mass term, $m_\varphi^2 \sim m m_{3/2}$, where $m$ is a supersymmetric mass parameter. This scenario needs no stabilizer field, but the stability of moduli during inflation imposes a large supersymmetry breaking scale, $m_{3/2} \gg H$, and a careful choice of initial conditions. This is illustrated in three prominent examples of moduli stabilization: KKLT stabilization, K\"ahler Uplifting, and the Large Volume Scenario. Remarkably, all models have a universal effective inflaton potential which is flattened compared to quadratic inflation. Hence, they share universal predictions for the CMB observables, in particular a lower bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, $r \gtrsim 0.05$.

Challenges for Large-Field Inflation and Moduli Stabilization

We analyze the interplay between K\"ahler moduli stabilization and chaotic inflation in supergravity. While heavy moduli decouple from inflation in the supersymmetric limit, supersymmetry breaking generically introduces non-decoupling effects. These lead to inflation driven by a soft mass term, $m_\varphi^2 \sim m m_{3/2}$, where $m$ is a supersymmetric mass parameter. This scenario needs no stabilizer field, but the stability of moduli during inflation imposes a large supersymmetry breaking scale, $m_{3/2} \gg H$, and a careful choice of initial conditions. This is illustrated in three prominent examples of moduli stabilization: KKLT stabilization, K\"ahler Uplifting, and the Large Volume Scenario. Remarkably, all models have a universal effective inflaton potential which is flattened compared to quadratic inflation. Hence, they share universal predictions for the CMB observables, in particular a lower bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, $r \gtrsim 0.05$.

Constraints on hybrid metric-Palatini models from background evolution

In this work, we introduce two models of the hybrid metric-Palatini theory of gravitation. We explore their background evolution, showing explicitly that one recovers standard General Relativity with an effective Cosmological Constant at late times. This happens because the Palatini Ricci scalar evolves towards and asymptotically settles at the minimum of its effective potential during cosmological evolution. We then use a combination of cosmic microwave background, Supernovae and baryonic accoustic oscillations background data to constrain the models’ free parameters. For one model in particular, we are able to constrain the deviation from the gravitational constant $G$ one can have at early times.

Testing Sunyaev-Zel'dovich measurements of the hot gas content of dark matter haloes using synthetic skies

[Abridged] A large fraction of the baryons in the Universe are `missing’ and believed to reside in the form of warm-hot gas in and around the dark matter haloes of massive galaxies and galaxy groups and clusters. The thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (tSZ) effect offers a means of probing this component directly. The Planck collaboration recently performed a tSZ stacking analysis of a large sample of `locally brightest galaxies’ (LBGs) selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR7 and, surprisingly, inferred an approximately self-similar relation between the tSZ flux and halo mass from massive clusters down to individual galaxies. At face value, this implies that galaxies, groups and clusters have the same hot gas mass fractions, a result which is in apparent conflict with X-ray observations. Here, we test the robustness of the inferred trend using synthetic maps of the tSZ effect sky generated from cosmological hydrodynamical simulations. We analyse these maps using the same tools and assumptions applied in the Planck LBG study. We show that, while the detection of the tSZ signal itself appears to be reliable and the estimate of the `total’ flux is reasonably robust, the inferred flux originating from within $r_{500}$ is highly sensitive to the assumed pressure distribution of the gas. Using as a guide our most realistic simulations that invoke AGN feedback and reproduce a wide variety of properties of groups and clusters, we estimate that the derived tSZ flux within $r_{500}$ is biased high by up to to an order of magnitude for haloes with masses $M_{500}\lesssim10^{13}$ M$_{\odot}$. Moreover, we show that the AGN simulations are fully consistent with the total tSZ flux-mass relation observed with Planck, whereas a self-similar model is ruled out. Finally, we present a new mass-dependent spatial template which can be used for deriving more accurate estimates of the tSZ flux within $r_{500}$.

 

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