Recent Postings from Cosmology and Nongalactic

Optical-SZE Scaling Relations for DES Optically Selected Clusters within the SPT-SZ Survey

We study the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZE) signature in South Pole Telescope (SPT) data for an ensemble of 719 optically identified galaxy clusters selected from 124.6 deg$^2$ of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) science verification data, detecting a stacked SZE signal down to richness $\lambda\sim20$. The SZE signature is measured using matched-filtered maps of the 2500 deg$^2$ SPT-SZ survey at the positions of the DES clusters, and the degeneracy between SZE observable and matched-filter size is broken by adopting as priors SZE and optical mass-observable relations that are either calibrated using SPT selected clusters or through the Arnaud et al. (2010, A10) X-ray analysis. We measure the SPT signal to noise $\zeta$-$\lambda$, relation and two integrated Compton-$y$ $Y_\textrm{500}$-$\lambda$ relations for the DES-selected clusters and compare these to model expectations accounting for the SZE-optical center offset distribution. For clusters with $\lambda > 80$, the two SPT calibrated scaling relations are consistent with the measurements, while for the A10-calibrated relation the measured SZE signal is smaller by a factor of $0.61 \pm 0.12$ compared to the prediction. For clusters at $20 < \lambda < 80$, the measured SZE signal is smaller by a factor of $\sim$0.20-0.80 (between 2.3 and 10~$\sigma$ significance) compared to the prediction, with the SPT calibrated scaling relations and larger $\lambda$ clusters showing generally better agreement. We quantify the required corrections to achieve consistency, showing that there is a richness dependent bias that can be explained by some combination of contamination of the observables and biases in the estimated masses. We discuss possible physical effects, as contamination from line-of-sight projections or from point sources, larger offsets in the SZE-optical centering or larger scatter in the $\lambda$-mass relation at lower richnesses.

Improved calculation of the gravitational wave spectrum from kinks on infinite cosmic strings [Cross-Listing]

Gravitational wave observations provide unique opportunities to search for cosmic strings. One of the strongest sources of gravitational waves is discontinuities of cosmic strings, called kinks, which are generated at points of intersection. Kinks on infinite strings are known to generate a gravitational wave background over a wide range of frequencies. In this paper, we calculate the spectrum of the gravitational wave background by numerically solving the evolution equation for the distribution function of the kink sharpness. We find that the number of kinks for small sharpness is larger than the analytical estimate used in a previous work, which makes a difference in the spectral shape. Our numerical approach also helps to avoid the use of analytic approximations, and enables us to make a more precise prediction on the spectral amplitude for future gravitational wave experiments.

Improved calculation of the gravitational wave spectrum from kinks on infinite cosmic strings

Gravitational wave observations provide unique opportunities to search for cosmic strings. One of the strongest sources of gravitational waves is discontinuities of cosmic strings, called kinks, which are generated at points of intersection. Kinks on infinite strings are known to generate a gravitational wave background over a wide range of frequencies. In this paper, we calculate the spectrum of the gravitational wave background by numerically solving the evolution equation for the distribution function of the kink sharpness. We find that the number of kinks for small sharpness is larger than the analytical estimate used in a previous work, which makes a difference in the spectral shape. Our numerical approach also helps to avoid the use of analytic approximations, and enables us to make a more precise prediction on the spectral amplitude for future gravitational wave experiments.

CMB-lensing beyond the Born approximation

We investigate the weak lensing corrections to the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies considering effects beyond the Born approximation. To this aim, we use the small deflection angle approximation, to connect the lensed and unlensed power spectra, via expressions for the deflection angles up to third order in the gravitational potential. While the small deflection angle approximation has the drawback to be reliable only for multipoles $\ell\lesssim 2500$, it allows us to consistently take into account the non-Gaussian nature of cosmological perturbation theory beyond the linear level. The contribution to the lensed temperature power spectrum coming from the non-Gaussian nature of the deflection angle at higher order is a new effect which has not been taken into account in the literature so far. It turns out to be the leading contribution among the post-Born lensing corrections. On the other hand, the effect is smaller than corrections coming from non-linearities in the matter power spectrum, and its imprint on CMB lensing is too small to be seen in present experiments.

CMB-lensing beyond the Born approximation [Cross-Listing]

We investigate the weak lensing corrections to the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies considering effects beyond the Born approximation. To this aim, we use the small deflection angle approximation, to connect the lensed and unlensed power spectra, via expressions for the deflection angles up to third order in the gravitational potential. While the small deflection angle approximation has the drawback to be reliable only for multipoles $\ell\lesssim 2500$, it allows us to consistently take into account the non-Gaussian nature of cosmological perturbation theory beyond the linear level. The contribution to the lensed temperature power spectrum coming from the non-Gaussian nature of the deflection angle at higher order is a new effect which has not been taken into account in the literature so far. It turns out to be the leading contribution among the post-Born lensing corrections. On the other hand, the effect is smaller than corrections coming from non-linearities in the matter power spectrum, and its imprint on CMB lensing is too small to be seen in present experiments.

CMB-lensing beyond the Born approximation [Cross-Listing]

We investigate the weak lensing corrections to the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies considering effects beyond the Born approximation. To this aim, we use the small deflection angle approximation, to connect the lensed and unlensed power spectra, via expressions for the deflection angles up to third order in the gravitational potential. While the small deflection angle approximation has the drawback to be reliable only for multipoles $\ell\lesssim 2500$, it allows us to consistently take into account the non-Gaussian nature of cosmological perturbation theory beyond the linear level. The contribution to the lensed temperature power spectrum coming from the non-Gaussian nature of the deflection angle at higher order is a new effect which has not been taken into account in the literature so far. It turns out to be the leading contribution among the post-Born lensing corrections. On the other hand, the effect is smaller than corrections coming from non-linearities in the matter power spectrum, and its imprint on CMB lensing is too small to be seen in present experiments.

A spectre is haunting the cosmos: Quantum stability of massive gravity with ghosts [Cross-Listing]

Many theories of modified gravity with higher order derivatives are usually ignored because of serious problems that appear due to an additional ghost degree of freedom. Most dangerously, it causes an immediate decay of the vacuum. However, breaking Lorentz invariance can cure such abominable behavior. By analyzing a model that describes a massive graviton together with a remaining Boulware-Deser ghost mode we show that even ghostly theories of modified gravity can yield models that are viable at both classical and quantum levels and, therefore, they should not generally be ruled out. Furthermore, we identify the most dangerous quantum scattering process that has the main impact on the decay time and find differences to simple theories that only describe an ordinary scalar field and a ghost. Additionally, constraints on the parameters of the theory including some upper bounds on the Lorentz-breaking cutoff scale are presented. In particular, for a simple theory of massive gravity we find that a Lorentz violation needs to occur below $\sim200$ eV, which still agrees with observations. Finally, we discuss the relevance to other theories of modified gravity.

A spectre is haunting the cosmos: Quantum stability of massive gravity with ghosts [Cross-Listing]

Many theories of modified gravity with higher order derivatives are usually ignored because of serious problems that appear due to an additional ghost degree of freedom. Most dangerously, it causes an immediate decay of the vacuum. However, breaking Lorentz invariance can cure such abominable behavior. By analyzing a model that describes a massive graviton together with a remaining Boulware-Deser ghost mode we show that even ghostly theories of modified gravity can yield models that are viable at both classical and quantum levels and, therefore, they should not generally be ruled out. Furthermore, we identify the most dangerous quantum scattering process that has the main impact on the decay time and find differences to simple theories that only describe an ordinary scalar field and a ghost. Additionally, constraints on the parameters of the theory including some upper bounds on the Lorentz-breaking cutoff scale are presented. In particular, for a simple theory of massive gravity we find that a Lorentz violation needs to occur below $\sim200$ eV, which still agrees with observations. Finally, we discuss the relevance to other theories of modified gravity.

A spectre is haunting the cosmos: Quantum stability of massive gravity with ghosts

Many theories of modified gravity with higher order derivatives are usually ignored because of serious problems that appear due to an additional ghost degree of freedom. Most dangerously, it causes an immediate decay of the vacuum. However, breaking Lorentz invariance can cure such abominable behavior. By analyzing a model that describes a massive graviton together with a remaining Boulware-Deser ghost mode we show that even ghostly theories of modified gravity can yield models that are viable at both classical and quantum levels and, therefore, they should not generally be ruled out. Furthermore, we identify the most dangerous quantum scattering process that has the main impact on the decay time and find differences to simple theories that only describe an ordinary scalar field and a ghost. Additionally, constraints on the parameters of the theory including some upper bounds on the Lorentz-breaking cutoff scale are presented. In particular, for a simple theory of massive gravity we find that a Lorentz violation needs to occur below $\sim200$ eV, which still agrees with observations. Finally, we discuss the relevance to other theories of modified gravity.

The 750 GeV Diphoton Casting the First Light on Baryogenesis

A robust mechanism was recently proposed in which thermal freeze-out of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) can provide a unified origin of dark matter and baryon abundances in our universe. We point out that this WIMP-triggered baryogenesis mechanism contains, as its integral part, a scalar particle of a weak-scale mass with indispensable loop-induced couplings to gluons and photons. This particle can be produced at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and, in particular, may be identified as the 750 GeV diphoton resonance that may have recently been observed at the LHC, while simultaneously explaining the observed cosmic baryon abundance. Another essential ingredient of this baryogenesis mechanism is the presence of three generations of new colored and electrically charged particles. Assuming the currently hinted mass and cross section of the diphoton resonance, we predict that the masses of those particles should be about 400 GeV, and that the 750 GeV resonance should have sizable/suppressed/negligible branching fractions into $Z\gamma$/$ZZ$/$WW$, respectively. We also predict that the detection of di-nucleon decay at intensity frontier experiments may be around the corner. If the current hint of the 750 GeV resonance dissolves with more LHC data, even richer complementary probes into the baryogenesis mechanism will be available at the LHC, including the production of multi-bottom and/or multi-top quarks, promptly or displaced. An even more exotic possibility is the production of two separate sets of isolated emerging jets connected by a charged track, which may require new dedicated studies.

The 750 GeV Diphoton Casting the First Light on Baryogenesis [Cross-Listing]

A robust mechanism was recently proposed in which thermal freeze-out of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) can provide a unified origin of dark matter and baryon abundances in our universe. We point out that this WIMP-triggered baryogenesis mechanism contains, as its integral part, a scalar particle of a weak-scale mass with indispensable loop-induced couplings to gluons and photons. This particle can be produced at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and, in particular, may be identified as the 750 GeV diphoton resonance that may have recently been observed at the LHC, while simultaneously explaining the observed cosmic baryon abundance. Another essential ingredient of this baryogenesis mechanism is the presence of three generations of new colored and electrically charged particles. Assuming the currently hinted mass and cross section of the diphoton resonance, we predict that the masses of those particles should be about 400 GeV, and that the 750 GeV resonance should have sizable/suppressed/negligible branching fractions into $Z\gamma$/$ZZ$/$WW$, respectively. We also predict that the detection of di-nucleon decay at intensity frontier experiments may be around the corner. If the current hint of the 750 GeV resonance dissolves with more LHC data, even richer complementary probes into the baryogenesis mechanism will be available at the LHC, including the production of multi-bottom and/or multi-top quarks, promptly or displaced. An even more exotic possibility is the production of two separate sets of isolated emerging jets connected by a charged track, which may require new dedicated studies.

The 750 GeV Diphoton Casting the First Light on Baryogenesis [Cross-Listing]

A robust mechanism was recently proposed in which thermal freeze-out of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) can provide a unified origin of dark matter and baryon abundances in our universe. We point out that this WIMP-triggered baryogenesis mechanism contains, as its integral part, a scalar particle of a weak-scale mass with indispensable loop-induced couplings to gluons and photons. This particle can be produced at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and, in particular, may be identified as the 750 GeV diphoton resonance that may have recently been observed at the LHC, while simultaneously explaining the observed cosmic baryon abundance. Another essential ingredient of this baryogenesis mechanism is the presence of three generations of new colored and electrically charged particles. Assuming the currently hinted mass and cross section of the diphoton resonance, we predict that the masses of those particles should be about 400 GeV, and that the 750 GeV resonance should have sizable/suppressed/negligible branching fractions into $Z\gamma$/$ZZ$/$WW$, respectively. We also predict that the detection of di-nucleon decay at intensity frontier experiments may be around the corner. If the current hint of the 750 GeV resonance dissolves with more LHC data, even richer complementary probes into the baryogenesis mechanism will be available at the LHC, including the production of multi-bottom and/or multi-top quarks, promptly or displaced. An even more exotic possibility is the production of two separate sets of isolated emerging jets connected by a charged track, which may require new dedicated studies.

Planck intermediate results. XLIX. Parity-violation constraints from polarization data

Parity violating extensions of the standard electromagnetic theory cause in vacuo rotation of the plane of polarization of propagating photons. This effect, also known as cosmic birefringence, impacts the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy angular power spectra, producing non-vanishing $T$--$B$ and $E$--$B$ correlations that are otherwise null when parity is a symmetry. Here we present new constraints on an isotropic rotation, parametrized by the angle $\alpha$, derived from Planck 2015 CMB polarization data. To increase the robustness of our analyses, we employ two complementary approaches, in harmonic space and in map space, the latter based on a peak stacking technique. The two approaches provide estimates for $\alpha$ that are in agreement within statistical uncertainties and very stable against several consistency tests. Considering the $T$--$B$ and $E$--$B$ information jointly, we find $\alpha = 0.31^{\circ} \pm 0.05^{\circ} \, ({\rm stat.})\, \pm 0.28^{\circ} \, ({\rm syst.})$ from the harmonic analysis and $\alpha = 0.35^{\circ} \pm 0.05^{\circ} \, ({\rm stat.})\, \pm 0.28^{\circ} \, ({\rm syst.})$ from the stacking approach. These constraints are compatible with no parity violation and are dominated by the systematic uncertainty in the orientation of Planck's polarization-sensitive bolometers.

Strong Lensing In The Inner Halo Of Galaxy Clusters

We present an axially symmetric formula to calculate the probability of finding gravitational arcs in galaxy clusters, being induced by their massive dark matter haloes, as a function of clusters redshifts and virial masses. The formula includes the ellipticity of the clusters dark matter potential by using a pseudo-elliptical approximation. The probabilities are calculated and compared for two dark-matter halo profiles, the Navarro, Frenk and White (NFW) and the Non-Singular-Isothermal-Sphere (NSIS). We demonstrate the power of our formulation through a Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test on the strong lensing statistics of an X-ray bright sample of low redshift Abell clusters. This KS test allows to establish limits on the values of the concentration parameter for the NFW profile ($c_\Delta$) and the core radius for the NSIS profile (\rc), which are related to the lowest cluster redshift ($z_{\rm cut}$) where strong arcs can be observed. For NFW dark matter profiles, we infer cluster haloes with concentrations that are consistent to those predicted by $\Lambda$CDM simulations. As for NSIS dark matter profiles, we find only upper limits for the clusters core radii and thus do not rule out a purely SIS model. For alternative mass profiles, our formulation provides constraints through $z_{\rm cut}$ on the parameters that control the concentration of mass in the inner region of the clusters haloes. We find that $z_{\rm cut}$ is expected to lie in the 0.0--0.2 redshift, highlighting the need to include very low-$z$ clusters in samples to study the clusters mass profiles.

Dark Matter Superfluidity

In this talk I summarize a novel framework that unifies the stunning success of MOND on galactic scales with the triumph of the $\Lambda$CDM model on cosmological scales. This is achieved through the rich and well-studied physics of superfluidity. The dark matter and MOND components have a common origin, representing different phases of a single underlying substance. In galaxies, dark matter thermalizes and condenses to form a superfluid phase. The superfluid phonons couple to baryonic matter particles and mediate a MOND-like force. This framework naturally distinguishes between galaxies (where MOND is successful) and galaxy clusters (where MOND is not): dark matter has a higher temperature in clusters, and hence is in a mixture of superfluid and normal phase. The rich and well-studied physics of superfluidity leads to a number of striking observational signatures, which we briefly discuss. Remarkably the critical temperature and equation of state of the dark matter superfluid are similar to those of known cold atom systems. Identifying a precise cold atom analogue would give important insights on the microphysical interactions underlying DM superfluidity. Tantalizingly, it might open the possibility of simulating the properties and dynamics of galaxies in laboratory experiments.

Lensing Bias to CMB Measurements of Compensated Isocurvature Perturbations

Compensated isocurvature perturbations (CIPs) are modes in which the baryon and dark matter density fluctuations cancel. They arise in the curvaton scenario as well as some models of baryogenesis. While they leave no observable effects on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at linear order, they do spatially modulate two-point CMB statistics and can be reconstructed in a manner similar to gravitational lensing. Due to the similarity between the effects of CMB lensing and CIPs, lensing contributes nearly Gaussian random noise to the CIP estimator that approximately doubles the reconstruction noise power. Additionally, the cross correlation between lensing and the integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect generates a correlation between the CIP estimator and the temperature field even in the absence of a correlated CIP signal. For cosmic-variance limited temperature measurements out to multipoles $l \leq 2500$, subtracting a fixed lensing bias degrades the detection threshold for CIPs by a factor of $1.3$, whether or not they are correlated with the adiabatic mode.

Weak lensing by galaxy troughs with modified gravity

We study the imprints that theories of gravity beyond GR can leave on the lensing signal around line of sight directions that are predominantly halo-underdense (called troughs) and halo-overdense. To carry out our investigations, we consider the normal branch of DGP gravity, as well as a phenomenological variant thereof that directly modifies the lensing potential. The predictions of these models are obtained with N-body simulation and ray-tracing methods using the ECOSMOG and Ray-Ramses codes. We analyse the stacked lensing convergence profiles around the underdense and overdense lines of sight, which exhibit, respectively, a suppression and a boost w.r.t. the mean in the field of view. The modifications to gravity in these models strengthen the signal w.r.t. $\Lambda{\rm CDM}$ in a scale-independent way. We find that the size of this effect is the same for both underdense and overdense lines of sight, which implies that the density field along the overdense directions on the sky is not sufficiently evolved to trigger the suppression effects of the screening mechanism. These results are robust to variations in the minimum halo mass and redshift ranges used to identify the lines of sight, as well as to different line of sight aperture sizes and criteria for their underdensity and overdensity thresholds.

Matter in the beam: Weak lensing, substructures and the temperature of dark matter [Replacement]

Warm Dark Matter (WDM) models offer an attractive alternative to the current Cold Dark Matter (CDM) cosmological model. We present a novel method to differentiate between WDM and CDM cosmologies, namely using weak lensing; this provides a unique probe as it is sensitive to all the "matter in the beam", not just dark matter haloes and the galaxies that reside in them, but also the diffuse material between haloes. We compare the weak lensing maps of CDM clusters to those in a WDM model corresponding to a thermally produced $0.5$~keV dark matter particle. Our analysis clearly shows that the weak lensing magnification, convergence and shear distributions can be used to distinguish between CDM and WDM models. WDM models {\em increase} the probability of weak magnifications, with the differences being significant to $\gtrsim5\sigma$, while leaving no significant imprint on the shear distribution. WDM clusters analysed in this work are more homogeneous than CDM ones, and the fractional decrease in the amount of material in haloes is proportional to the average increase in the magnification. This difference arises from matter that would be bound in compact haloes in CDM being smoothly distributed over much larger volumes at lower densities in WDM. Moreover, the signature does not solely lie in the probability distribution function but in the full spatial distribution of the convergence field.

Matter in the beam: Weak lensing, substructures and the temperature of dark matter

Warm Dark Matter (WDM) models offer an attractive alternative to the current Cold Dark Matter (CDM) cosmological model. We present a novel method to differentiate between WDM and CDM cosmologies, namely using weak lensing; this provides a unique probe as it is sensitive to all the "matter in the beam", not just dark matter haloes and the galaxies that reside in them, but also the diffuse material between haloes. We compare the weak lensing maps of CDM clusters to those in a WDM model corresponding to a thermally produced $0.5$~keV dark matter particle. Our analysis clearly shows that the weak lensing magnification, convergence and shear distributions can be used to distinguish between CDM and WDM models. WDM models {\em increase} the probability of weak magnifications, with the differences being significant to $\gtrsim5\sigma$, while leaving no significant imprint on the shear distribution. WDM clusters analysed in this work are more homogeneous than CDM ones, and the fractional decrease in the amount of material in haloes is proportional to the average increase in the magnification. This difference arises from matter that would be bound in compact haloes in CDM being smoothly distributed over much larger volumes at lower densities in WDM. Moreover, the signature does not solely lie in the probability distribution function but in the full spatial distribution of the convergence field.

Tensor Squeezed Limits and the Higuchi Bound [Cross-Listing]

We point out that tensor consistency relations-i.e. the behavior of primordial correlation functions in the limit a tensor mode has a small momentum-are more universal than scalar consistency relations. They hold in the presence of multiple scalar fields and as long as anisotropies are diluted exponentially fast. When de Sitter isometries are approximately respected during inflation this is guaranteed by the Higuchi bound, which forbids the existence of light particles with spin: De Sitter space can support scalar hair but no curly hair. We discuss two indirect ways to look for the violation of tensor con- sistency relations in observations, as a signature of models in which inflation is not a strong isotropic attractor, such as solid inflation: (a) Graviton exchange contribution to the scalar four-point function; (b) Quadrupolar anisotropy of the scalar power spectrum due to super-horizon tensor modes. This anisotropy has a well-defined statistics which can be distinguished from cases in which the background has a privileged direction.

Tensor Squeezed Limits and the Higuchi Bound [Cross-Listing]

We point out that tensor consistency relations-i.e. the behavior of primordial correlation functions in the limit a tensor mode has a small momentum-are more universal than scalar consistency relations. They hold in the presence of multiple scalar fields and as long as anisotropies are diluted exponentially fast. When de Sitter isometries are approximately respected during inflation this is guaranteed by the Higuchi bound, which forbids the existence of light particles with spin: De Sitter space can support scalar hair but no curly hair. We discuss two indirect ways to look for the violation of tensor con- sistency relations in observations, as a signature of models in which inflation is not a strong isotropic attractor, such as solid inflation: (a) Graviton exchange contribution to the scalar four-point function; (b) Quadrupolar anisotropy of the scalar power spectrum due to super-horizon tensor modes. This anisotropy has a well-defined statistics which can be distinguished from cases in which the background has a privileged direction.

Tensor Squeezed Limits and the Higuchi Bound

We point out that tensor consistency relations-i.e. the behavior of primordial correlation functions in the limit a tensor mode has a small momentum-are more universal than scalar consistency relations. They hold in the presence of multiple scalar fields and as long as anisotropies are diluted exponentially fast. When de Sitter isometries are approximately respected during inflation this is guaranteed by the Higuchi bound, which forbids the existence of light particles with spin: De Sitter space can support scalar hair but no curly hair. We discuss two indirect ways to look for the violation of tensor con- sistency relations in observations, as a signature of models in which inflation is not a strong isotropic attractor, such as solid inflation: (a) Graviton exchange contribution to the scalar four-point function; (b) Quadrupolar anisotropy of the scalar power spectrum due to super-horizon tensor modes. This anisotropy has a well-defined statistics which can be distinguished from cases in which the background has a privileged direction.

On the 4D generalized Proca action for an Abelian vector field

We summarize previous results on the most general Proca theory in 4 dimensions containing only first order derivatives in the vector field (second order at most in the associated St\"uckelberg scalar) and having only three propagating degrees of freedom with dynamics controlled by second order equations of motion. In agreement with the results of JCAP 1405, 015 (2014) and Phys. Lett. B 757, 405 (2016) and complementing others (JCAP 1602, 004 (2016)), we find that parity violating terms reduce to a simple function of the field $A^\mu$, the Faraday tensor $F^{\mu\nu}$ and its Hodge dual $\tilde{F}^{\mu\nu}$. Discussing the Hessian condition used in previous works, we also conjecture that, as in the scalar galileon case, the most complete action contains only a finite number of terms with second order derivative of the St\"uckelberg field describing the longitudinal mode.

On the 4D generalized Proca action for an Abelian vector field [Cross-Listing]

We summarize previous results on the most general Proca theory in 4 dimensions containing only first order derivatives in the vector field (second order at most in the associated St\"uckelberg scalar) and having only three propagating degrees of freedom with dynamics controlled by second order equations of motion. In agreement with the results of JCAP 1405, 015 (2014) and Phys. Lett. B 757, 405 (2016) and complementing others (JCAP 1602, 004 (2016)), we find that parity violating terms reduce to a simple function of the field $A^\mu$, the Faraday tensor $F^{\mu\nu}$ and its Hodge dual $\tilde{F}^{\mu\nu}$. Discussing the Hessian condition used in previous works, we also conjecture that, as in the scalar galileon case, the most complete action contains only a finite number of terms with second order derivative of the St\"uckelberg field describing the longitudinal mode.

On the 4D generalized Proca action for an Abelian vector field [Cross-Listing]

We summarize previous results on the most general Proca theory in 4 dimensions containing only first order derivatives in the vector field (second order at most in the associated St\"uckelberg scalar) and having only three propagating degrees of freedom with dynamics controlled by second order equations of motion. In agreement with the results of JCAP 1405, 015 (2014) and Phys. Lett. B 757, 405 (2016) and complementing others (JCAP 1602, 004 (2016)), we find that parity violating terms reduce to a simple function of the field $A^\mu$, the Faraday tensor $F^{\mu\nu}$ and its Hodge dual $\tilde{F}^{\mu\nu}$. Discussing the Hessian condition used in previous works, we also conjecture that, as in the scalar galileon case, the most complete action contains only a finite number of terms with second order derivative of the St\"uckelberg field describing the longitudinal mode.

Observational selection biases in time-delay strong lensing and their impact on cosmography

Inferring cosmological parameters from time-delay strong lenses requires a significant investment of telescope time; it is therefore tempting to focus on the systems with the brightest sources, the highest image multiplicities and the widest image separations. We investigate if this selection bias can influence the properties of the lenses studied and the cosmological parameters that are inferred. Using a population of lenses with ellipsoidal powerlaw density profiles, we build a sample of double and quadruple image systems. Assuming reasonable thresholds on image separation and flux, based on current lens monitoring campaigns, we find that the typical density profile slopes of monitorable lenses are significantly shallower than the input ensemble. From a sample of quadruple image lenses we find that this selection function can introduce a 3.5% bias on the inferred time-delay distances if the ensemble of deflector properties is used as a prior for a cosmographical analysis. This bias remains at the 2.4% level when high resolution imaging of the quasar host is used to precisely infer the density profiles of individual lenses. We also investigate if the lines-of-sight for monitorable strong lenses are biased. After adding external convergence, $\kappa$, and shear to our lens population we find that the expectation value for $\kappa$ is increased by 0.004 and 0.009 for doubles and quads respectively. $\kappa$ is degenerate with the value of $H_0$ inferred from time delays; fortunately the shift in $\kappa$ only induces a 0.9 (0.4) percent bias on $H_0$ for quads (doubles). We therefore conclude that whilst the properties of typical quasar lenses and their lines-of-sight do deviate from the global population, the total magnitude of this effect is likely a subdominant effect for current analyses, but has the potential to be a major systematic for samples of $\sim$25 or more lenses.

Primordial inhomogeneities from massive defects during inflation

We consider the imprints of local massive defects, such as a black hole or a massive monopole, during inflation. The massive defect breaks the background homogeneity. We consider the limit that the physical Schwarzschild radius of the defect is much smaller than the inflationary Hubble radius so a perturbative analysis is allowed. The inhomogeneities induced in scalar and gravitational wave power spectrum are calculated. We obtain the amplitudes of dipole, quadrupole and octupole anisotropies in curvature perturbation power spectrum and identify the relative configuration of the defect to CMB sphere in which large observable dipole asymmetry can be generated. We observe a curious reflection symmetry in which the configuration where the defect is inside the CMB comoving sphere has the same inhomogeneous variance as its mirror configuration where the defect is outside the CMB sphere.

Primordial inhomogeneities from massive defects during inflation [Cross-Listing]

We consider the imprints of local massive defects, such as a black hole or a massive monopole, during inflation. The massive defect breaks the background homogeneity. We consider the limit that the physical Schwarzschild radius of the defect is much smaller than the inflationary Hubble radius so a perturbative analysis is allowed. The inhomogeneities induced in scalar and gravitational wave power spectrum are calculated. We obtain the amplitudes of dipole, quadrupole and octupole anisotropies in curvature perturbation power spectrum and identify the relative configuration of the defect to CMB sphere in which large observable dipole asymmetry can be generated. We observe a curious reflection symmetry in which the configuration where the defect is inside the CMB comoving sphere has the same inhomogeneous variance as its mirror configuration where the defect is outside the CMB sphere.

Primordial inhomogeneities from massive defects during inflation [Cross-Listing]

We consider the imprints of local massive defects, such as a black hole or a massive monopole, during inflation. The massive defect breaks the background homogeneity. We consider the limit that the physical Schwarzschild radius of the defect is much smaller than the inflationary Hubble radius so a perturbative analysis is allowed. The inhomogeneities induced in scalar and gravitational wave power spectrum are calculated. We obtain the amplitudes of dipole, quadrupole and octupole anisotropies in curvature perturbation power spectrum and identify the relative configuration of the defect to CMB sphere in which large observable dipole asymmetry can be generated. We observe a curious reflection symmetry in which the configuration where the defect is inside the CMB comoving sphere has the same inhomogeneous variance as its mirror configuration where the defect is outside the CMB sphere.

Polarization of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect: relativistic imprint of thermal and non-thermal plasma

[Abridged] Inverse Compton scattering of CMB fluctuations off cosmic electron plasma generates a polarization of the associated Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect. This signal has been studied so far mostly in the non-relativistic regime and for a thermal electron population and, as such, has limited astrophysical applications. Partial attempts to extend this calculation for a thermal electron plasma in the relativistic regime have been done but cannot be applied to a general relativistic electron distribution. Here we derive a general form of the SZ effect polarization valid in the full relativistic approach for both thermal and non-thermal electron plasmas, as well as for a generic combination of various electron population co-spatially distributed in the environments of galaxy clusters or radiogalaxy lobes. We derive the spectral shape of the Stokes parameters induced by the IC scattering of every CMB multipole, focusing on the CMB quadrupole and octupole that provide the largest detectable signals in galaxy clusters. We found that the CMB quadrupole induced Stoke parameter Q is always positive with a maximum amplitude at 216 GHz which increases slightly with increasing cluster temperature. The CMB octupole induced Q spectrum shows, instead, a cross-over frequency which depends on the cluster electron temperature, or on the minimum momentum p_1 as well as on the power-law spectral index of a non-thermal electron population. We discuss some possibilities to disentangle the quadrupole-induced Q spectrum from the octupole-induced one which allow to measure these quantities through the SZ effect polarization. We finally apply our model to the realistic case of the Bullet cluster and derive the visibility windows of the total, quandrupole-induced and octupole-induced Stoke parameter Q in the frequency ranges accessible to SKA, ALMA, MILLIMETRON and CORE++ experiments.

The mass accretion rate of galaxy clusters: a measurable quantity

We are interested in investigating the growth of structures at the nonlinear scales of galaxy clusters from an observational perspective: we explore the possibility of measuring the mass accretion rate of galaxy clusters from their mass profile beyond the virial radius. We derive the accretion rate from the mass of a spherical shell whose infall velocity is extracted from $N$-body simulations. In the redshift range $z=[0,2]$, our prescription returns an average mass accretion rate within $20-40 \%$ of the average rate derived from the merger trees of dark matter haloes extracted from $N$-body simulations. Our result suggests that measuring the mean mass accretion rate of a sample of galaxy clusters is actually feasible, thus providing a new potential observational test of the cosmological and structure formation models.

A $f(R)$-gravity model of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich profile of the Coma cluster compatible with {\it Planck} data [Cross-Listing]

In the weak field limit, analytic $f(R)$ models of gravity introduce a Yukawa-like correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential. These models have been widely tested at galactic scales and provide an alternative explanation to the dynamics of galaxies without Dark Matter. We study if the temperature anisotropies due to the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect are compatible with these Extended Theories of Gravity. We assume that the gas is in hydrostatic equilibrium within the modified Newtonian potential and it is well described by a polytropic equation of state. We particularize the model for the Coma cluster and the predicted anisotropies are compared with those measured in the foreground cleaned maps obtained using the Planck Nominal maps released in 2013. We show that the computed $f(R)$ pressure profile fits the data giving rise to competitive constraints of the Yukawa scale length $L=(2.19\pm1.02) \rm{\, Mpc}$, and of the deviation parameter $ \delta=-0.48\pm0.22$. Those are currently the tightest constraints at galaxy cluster scale, and support the idea that Extended Theories of Gravity provide an alternative explanation to the dynamics of self-gravitating systems without requiring Dark Matter.

A $f(R)$-gravity model of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich profile of the Coma cluster compatible with {\it Planck} data

In the weak field limit, analytic $f(R)$ models of gravity introduce a Yukawa-like correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential. These models have been widely tested at galactic scales and provide an alternative explanation to the dynamics of galaxies without Dark Matter. We study if the temperature anisotropies due to the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect are compatible with these Extended Theories of Gravity. We assume that the gas is in hydrostatic equilibrium within the modified Newtonian potential and it is well described by a polytropic equation of state. We particularize the model for the Coma cluster and the predicted anisotropies are compared with those measured in the foreground cleaned maps obtained using the Planck Nominal maps released in 2013. We show that the computed $f(R)$ pressure profile fits the data giving rise to competitive constraints of the Yukawa scale length $L=(2.19\pm1.02) \rm{\, Mpc}$, and of the deviation parameter $ \delta=-0.48\pm0.22$. Those are currently the tightest constraints at galaxy cluster scale, and support the idea that Extended Theories of Gravity provide an alternative explanation to the dynamics of self-gravitating systems without requiring Dark Matter.

Acceleration of the universe: a reconstruction of the effective equation of state

The present work is based upon a parametric reconstruction of the effective or total equation of state in a model for the universe with accelerated expansion. The constraints on the model parameters are obtained by maximum likelihood analysis using the supernova distance modulus data, observational Hubble data, baryon acoustic oscillation data and cosmic microwave background shift parameter data. For statistical comparison, the same analysis has also been carried out for the wCDM dark energy model. Different model selection criteria (Akaike information criterion (AIC)) and (Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC)) give the clear indication that the reconstructed model is well consistent with the wCDM model. Then both the models (w_{eff}(z) model and wCDM model) have also been presented through (q_0 ,j_0 ) parameter space. Tighter constraint on the present values of dark energy equation of state parameter (w_{DE}(z = 0)) and cosmological jerk (j_0) have been achieved for the reconstructed model.

Impact of galactic and intergalactic dust on the stellar EBL

Current theories assume that the low intensity of the stellar extragalactic background light (stellar EBL) is caused primarily by finite age of the Universe because the finite age limits the number of photons pumped into the space by galaxies and thus the sky is dark in the night. We oppose this opinion and show that two main factors are responsible for the extremely low intensity of the observed stellar EBL: (1) a low mean surface brightness of galaxies, which causes a low luminosity density in the local Universe, and (2) light extinction due to absorption by galactic and intergalactic dust. Dust produces a partial opacity of galaxies and of the Universe. The galactic opacity reduces the intensity of light from more distant background galaxies obscured by foreground galaxies. The effective extinction AV for light passing through a galaxy is 0.2 mag. This causes that distant background galaxies do not contribute to the EBL significantly. In addition, light of distant galaxies is dimmed due to absorption by intergalactic dust. Even a minute intergalactic opacity of 1x10^(-2) mag per Gpc is high enough to produce significant effects on the EBL. The absorbed starlight heats up the galactic and intergalactic dust and is further re-radiated at the IR, FIR and micro-wave spectrum. Assuming static infinite universe with no galactic and intergalactic dust, the stellar EBL should be as high as the surface brightness of stars. However, if dust is considered, the predicted stellar EBL is about 290 nWm^(-2)sr^(-1), which is only 5 times higher than the observed value. Hence, the presence of dust has higher impact on the EBL than currently assumed. In the expanding universe, the calculated value of the EBL is further decreased, because the obscuration effect and intergalactic absorption become more pronounced at high redshifts when the matter was concentrated at smaller volume than at present.

Standardizing Type Ia supernovae using Near Infrared rebrightening time

Accurate standardisation of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) is instrumental to the usage of SNIa as distance indicators. We analyse a homogeneous sample of 22 low-z SNIa, observed by the Carnegie Supernova Project (CSP) in the optical and near infra-red (NIR). We study the time of the second peak in the NIR band due to re-brightening, t2, as an alternative standardisation parameter of SNIa peak brightness. We use BAHAMAS, a Bayesian hierarchical model for SNIa cosmology, to determine the residual scatter in the Hubble diagram. We find that in the absence of a colour correction, t2 is a better standardisation parameter compared to stretch: t2 has a 1 sigma posterior interval for the Hubble residual scatter of [0.250, 0.257] , compared to [0.280, 0.287] when stretch (x1) alone is used. We demonstrate that when employed together with a colour correction, t2 and stretch lead to similar residual scatter. Using colour, stretch and t2 jointly as standardisation parameters does not result in any further reduction in scatter, suggesting that t2 carries redundant information with respect to stretch and colour. With a much larger SNIa NIR sample at higher redshift in the future, t2 could be a useful quantity to perform robustness checks of the standardisation procedure.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project: Biases in z>1.46 Redshifts due to Quasar Diversity

We use the coadded spectra of 32 epochs of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Reverberation Mapping Project observations of 482 quasars with z>1.46 to highlight systematic biases in the SDSS- and BOSS-pipeline redshifts due to the natural diversity of quasar properties. We investigate the characteristics of this bias by comparing the BOSS-pipeline redshifts to an estimate from the centroid of HeII 1640. HeII has a low equivalent width but is often well-defined in high-S/N spectra, does not suffer from self-absorption, and has a narrow component that, when present (the case for about half of our sources), produces a redshift estimate that, on average, is consistent with that determined from [OII] to within 1-sigma of the quadrature sum of the HeII and [OII] centroid measurement uncertainties. The large redshift differences of ~1000 km/s, on average, between the BOSS-pipeline and HeII-centroid redshifts suggest there are significant biases in a portion of BOSS quasar redshift measurements. Adopting the HeII-based redshifts shows that CIV does not exhibit a ubiquitous blueshift for all quasars, given the precision probed by our measurements. Instead, we find a distribution of CIV centroid blueshifts across our sample, with a dynamic range that (i) is wider than that previously reported for this line, and (ii) spans CIV centroids from those consistent with the systemic redshift to those with significant blueshifts of thousands of kilometers per second. These results have significant implications for measurement and use of high-redshift quasar properties and redshifts and studies based thereon.

Kinetic AGN Feedback Effects on Cluster Cool Cores Simulated using SPH

We implement novel numerical models of AGN feedback in the SPH code GADGET-3, where the energy from a supermassive black hole (BH) is coupled to the surrounding gas in the kinetic form. Gas particles lying inside a bi-conical volume around the BH are imparted a one-time velocity (10,000 km/s) increment. We perform hydrodynamical simulations of isolated cluster (total mass 10^14 /h M_sun), which is initially evolved to form a dense cool core, having central T<10^6 K. A BH resides at the cluster center, and ejects energy. The feedback-driven fast wind undergoes shock with the slower-moving gas, which causes the imparted kinetic energy to be thermalized. Bipolar bubble-like outflows form propagating radially outward to a distance of a few 100 kpc. The radial profiles of median gas properties are influenced by BH feedback in the inner regions (r<20-50 kpc). BH kinetic feedback, with a large value of the feedback efficiency, depletes the inner cool gas and reduces the hot gas content, such that the initial cool core of the cluster is heated up within a time 1.9 Gyr, whereby the core median temperature rises to above 10^7 K, and the central entropy flattens. Our implementation of BH thermal feedback (using the same efficiency as kinetic), within the star-formation model, cannot do this heating, where the cool core remains. The inclusion of cold gas accretion in the simulations produces naturally a duty cycle of the AGN with a periodicity of 100 Myr.

Non-Abelian Dark Forces and the Relic Densities of Dark Glueballs

Our understanding of the Universe is known to be incomplete and new gauge forces beyond those of the Standard Model might be crucial to describing its observed properties. A minimal and well-motivated possibility is a pure Yang-Mills non-Abelian dark gauge force with no direct connection to the Standard Model. We determine here the relic abundances of the glueball bound states that arise in such theories and investigate their cosmological effects. Glueballs are first formed in a confining phase transition, and their relic densities are set by a network of annihilation and transfer reactions. The lightest glueball has no lighter states to annihilate into, and its yield is set mainly by 3 to 2 number-changing processes which persistently release energy into the glueball gas during freeze-out. The abundances of the heavier glueballs are dominated by 2 to 2 transfer reactions, and tend to be much smaller than the lightest state. We also investigate potential connectors between the dark force and the Standard Model that allow some or all of the dark glueballs to decay. If the connection is weak, the lightest glueball can be very long-lived or stable and is a viable dark matter candidate. For stronger connections, the lightest glueball will decay quickly but other heavier glueball states can remain stable and contribute to the dark matter density.

Non-Abelian Dark Forces and the Relic Densities of Dark Glueballs [Cross-Listing]

Our understanding of the Universe is known to be incomplete and new gauge forces beyond those of the Standard Model might be crucial to describing its observed properties. A minimal and well-motivated possibility is a pure Yang-Mills non-Abelian dark gauge force with no direct connection to the Standard Model. We determine here the relic abundances of the glueball bound states that arise in such theories and investigate their cosmological effects. Glueballs are first formed in a confining phase transition, and their relic densities are set by a network of annihilation and transfer reactions. The lightest glueball has no lighter states to annihilate into, and its yield is set mainly by 3 to 2 number-changing processes which persistently release energy into the glueball gas during freeze-out. The abundances of the heavier glueballs are dominated by 2 to 2 transfer reactions, and tend to be much smaller than the lightest state. We also investigate potential connectors between the dark force and the Standard Model that allow some or all of the dark glueballs to decay. If the connection is weak, the lightest glueball can be very long-lived or stable and is a viable dark matter candidate. For stronger connections, the lightest glueball will decay quickly but other heavier glueball states can remain stable and contribute to the dark matter density.

Analysis strategies for general spin-independent WIMP-nucleus scattering [Cross-Listing]

We propose a formalism for the analysis of direct-detection dark-matter searches that covers all coherent responses for scalar and vector interactions and incorporates QCD constraints imposed by chiral symmetry, including all one- and two-body WIMP-nucleon interactions up to third order in chiral effective field theory. One of the free parameters in the WIMP-nucleus cross section corresponds to standard spin-independent searches, but in general different combinations of new-physics couplings are probed. We identify the interference with the isovector counterpart of the standard spin-independent response and two-body currents as the dominant corrections to the leading spin-independent structure factor, and discuss the general consequences for the interpretation of direct-detection experiments, including minimal extensions of the standard spin-independent analysis. Fits for all structure factors required for the scattering off xenon targets are provided based on state-of-the-art nuclear shell-model calculations.

Analysis strategies for general spin-independent WIMP-nucleus scattering [Cross-Listing]

We propose a formalism for the analysis of direct-detection dark-matter searches that covers all coherent responses for scalar and vector interactions and incorporates QCD constraints imposed by chiral symmetry, including all one- and two-body WIMP-nucleon interactions up to third order in chiral effective field theory. One of the free parameters in the WIMP-nucleus cross section corresponds to standard spin-independent searches, but in general different combinations of new-physics couplings are probed. We identify the interference with the isovector counterpart of the standard spin-independent response and two-body currents as the dominant corrections to the leading spin-independent structure factor, and discuss the general consequences for the interpretation of direct-detection experiments, including minimal extensions of the standard spin-independent analysis. Fits for all structure factors required for the scattering off xenon targets are provided based on state-of-the-art nuclear shell-model calculations.

Analysis strategies for general spin-independent WIMP-nucleus scattering

We propose a formalism for the analysis of direct-detection dark-matter searches that covers all coherent responses for scalar and vector interactions and incorporates QCD constraints imposed by chiral symmetry, including all one- and two-body WIMP-nucleon interactions up to third order in chiral effective field theory. One of the free parameters in the WIMP-nucleus cross section corresponds to standard spin-independent searches, but in general different combinations of new-physics couplings are probed. We identify the interference with the isovector counterpart of the standard spin-independent response and two-body currents as the dominant corrections to the leading spin-independent structure factor, and discuss the general consequences for the interpretation of direct-detection experiments, including minimal extensions of the standard spin-independent analysis. Fits for all structure factors required for the scattering off xenon targets are provided based on state-of-the-art nuclear shell-model calculations.

Analysis strategies for general spin-independent WIMP-nucleus scattering [Cross-Listing]

We propose a formalism for the analysis of direct-detection dark-matter searches that covers all coherent responses for scalar and vector interactions and incorporates QCD constraints imposed by chiral symmetry, including all one- and two-body WIMP-nucleon interactions up to third order in chiral effective field theory. One of the free parameters in the WIMP-nucleus cross section corresponds to standard spin-independent searches, but in general different combinations of new-physics couplings are probed. We identify the interference with the isovector counterpart of the standard spin-independent response and two-body currents as the dominant corrections to the leading spin-independent structure factor, and discuss the general consequences for the interpretation of direct-detection experiments, including minimal extensions of the standard spin-independent analysis. Fits for all structure factors required for the scattering off xenon targets are provided based on state-of-the-art nuclear shell-model calculations.

Slow blue nuclear hypervariables in PanSTARRS-1

We discuss 76 large amplitude transients (Delta-m>1.5) occurring in the nuclei of galaxies, nearly all with no previously known AGN. They have been discovered as part of the Pan-STARRS1 3pi survey, by comparison with SDSS photometry a decade earlier, and then monitored with the Liverpool Telescope. We also have optical spectroscopy for 51/76 of the objects. Based on colours, light curve shape, and spectra, these transients seem to fall into four groups. Some (~13%) turned out to be misclassified stars or objects of unknown type. Of the remainder, some (~21%$) are red/fast transients and are known or likely nuclear supernovae of various types. A few (~9%) are either radio sources or erratic variables and so likely blazars. However the majority (~66%) are blue and evolve slowly, on a timescale of years. Spectroscopy shows that these objects are AGN at z~ 0.3 - 1.4, which must have brightened since the SDSS photometry by around an order of magnitude. It is likely that most of these objects were in fact AGN a decade ago, but somewhat too weak to have been recognised as such by SDSS. These objects could then be classed as "hypervariable" AGN. In at least one case, the object has transitioned from a Type 1.9 to a Type 1 AGN. By searching the SDSS Stripe 82 quasar database, we find 15 comparison AGN which have changed over ~10 years by at least a factor 4, some of these seem to be blazars, but others are like the objects presented here, evolving smoothly over several years. We discuss several possible explanations for these slow blue hypervariables - (i) unusually luminous tidal disruption events, (ii) extinction events, (iii) changes in accretion state, and (iv) large amplitude microlensing by stars in foreground galaxies. A mixture of explanations (iii) and (iv) seems most likely. Both hold promise of considerable new insight into the AGN phenomenon.

Approximated methods for the generation of dark matter halo catalogs in the age of precision cosmology

Precision cosmology has recently triggered new attention on the topic of approximate methods for the clustering of matter on large scales, whose foundations date back to the period from late '60s to early '90s. Indeed, although the prospect of reaching sub-percent accuracy in the measurement of clustering poses a challenge even to full N-body simulations, an accurate estimation of the covariance matrix of clustering statistics requires usage of a large number (hundreds in the most favourable cases) of simulated (mock) galaxy catalogs. Combination of few N-body simulations with a large number of realizations performed with approximate methods, combined with the shrinkage technique or a similar tool, gives the most promising approach to solve this problem with a reasonable amount of resources. In this paper I review this topic, starting from the foundations of the methods, then going through the pioneering efforts of the '90s, and finally presenting the latest extensions and a few codes that are now being used in present-generation surveys and thoroughly tested to assess their performance in the context of future surveys.

Lens Models Under the Microscope: Comparison of Hubble Frontier Field Cluster Magnification Maps

Using the power of gravitational lensing magnification by massive galaxy clusters, the Hubble Frontier Fields provide deep views of six patches of the high redshift Universe. The combination of deep Hubble imaging and exceptional lensing strength has revealed the greatest numbers of multiply-imaged galaxies available to constrain models of cluster mass distributions. However, even with O(100) images per cluster, the uncertainties associated with the reconstructions are not negligible. The goal of this paper is to present a quantitative and visual impression of the diversity of model magnification predictions. We examine 7 and 9 mass models of Abell 2744 and MACS J0416, respectively, submitted to the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes for public distribution in September 2015. The dispersion between model predictions increases from 20% at common low magnifications (\mu~2) to 70% at rare high magnifications (\mu~40). MACS J0416 exhibits smaller dispersions than Abell 2744 for 2<\mu<10. We show that magnification maps based on different lens inversion techniques typically differ from each other by more than their quoted statistical errors. This suggests that some models probably underestimate the true uncertainties, which are primarily due to various lensing degeneracies. Though the exact mass sheet degeneracy is broken, its approximate counterpart is not broken at least in Abell 2744. Other, local degeneracies are also present in both clusters. The comparison of models in this paper is complementary to the exercise of comparing reconstructions of known synthetic mass distributions. By focusing here on a comparison of actual observed clusters, we can identify the clusters that are best constrained, and therefore provide the clearest view of the distant Universe.

II. Apples to apples $A^2$: cluster selection functions for next-generation surveys

We present the cluster selection function for three of the largest next-generation stage-IV surveys in the optical and infrared: Euclid-Optimistic, Euclid-Pessimistic and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). To simulate these surveys, we use the realistic mock catalogues introduced in the first paper of this series. We detected galaxy clusters using the Bayesian Cluster Finder (BCF) in the mock catalogues. We then modeled and calibrated the total cluster stellar mass observable-theoretical mass ($M^*_{\rm CL}-M_{\rm h}$) relation using a power law model, including a possible redshift evolution term. We find a moderate scatter of $\sigma_{M^*_{\rm CL} | M_{\rm h}}$ of 0.124, 0.135 and 0.136 $\rm dex$ for Euclid-Optimistic, Euclid-Pessimistic and LSST, respectively, comparable to other work over more limited ranges of redshift. Moreover, the three datasets are consistent with negligible evolution with redshift, in agreement with observational and simulation results in the literature. We find that Euclid-Optimistic will be able to detect clusters with $>80\%$ completeness and purity down to $8\times10^{13}M_{\odot}$ up to $z<1$. At higher redshifts, the same completeness and purity are obtained with the larger mass threshold of $2\times10^{14}M_{\odot}$ up to $z=2$. The Euclid-Pessimistic selection function has a similar shape with $\sim10\%$ higher mass limit. LSST shows $\sim 5\%$ higher mass limit than Euclid-Optimistic up to $z<0.7$ and increases afterwards, reaching values of $2\times10^{14}M_{\odot}$ at $z=1.4$. Similar selection functions with only $80\%$ completeness threshold have been also computed. The complementarity of these results with selection functions for surveys in other bands is discussed.

Systematic biases in low frequency radio interferometric data due to calibration: the LOFAR EoR case

The redshifted 21 cm line of neutral hydrogen is a promising probe of the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). However, its detection requires a thorough understanding and control of the systematic errors. We study two systematic biases observed in the LOFAR EoR residual data after calibration and subtraction of bright discrete foreground sources. The first effect is a suppression in the diffuse foregrounds, which could potentially mean a suppression of the 21 cm signal. The second effect is an excess of noise beyond the thermal noise. The excess noise shows fluctuations on small frequency scales, and hence it can not be easily removed by foreground removal or avoidance methods. Our analysis suggests that sidelobes of residual sources due to the chromatic point spread function and ionospheric scintillation can not be the dominant causes of the excess noise. Rather, both the suppression of diffuse foregrounds and the excess noise can occur due to calibration with an incomplete sky model containing predominantly bright discrete sources. We show that calibrating only on bright sources can cause suppression of other signals and introduce an excess noise in the data. The levels of the suppression and excess noise depend on the relative flux of sources which are not included in the model with respect to the flux of modeled sources. We discuss possible solutions such as using only long baselines to calibrate the interferometric gain solutions as well as simultaneous multi-frequency calibration along with their benefits and shortcomings.

The dynamical state of the galaxy cluster: Theoretical insights from cosmological simulations

Following the work of Cui et al. (2016b, hereafter Paper I), we investigate the dynamical state of the galaxy clusters from the theoretical point of view. After extending to vrial radius $R_{vir}$, we reselect out 123 clusters with $\log(M_{DM, vir}) \le 14.5$ from the galaxy cluster samples in Paper I, here DM indicate the dark-matter-only run. These clusters from the two hydro-dynamical runs are matched to the dark-matter-only run using the unique dark matter particle ID. We investigate 4 independent parameters, which are normally used to classify the cluster dynamical state. We find that the virial ratio $\eta$ from both hydro-dynamical runs is $\sim$ 10 per cent lower than from the dark-matter-only run; there is no clear bimodal distribution between the relaxed and un-relaxed clusters for all investigated parameters. Further, using the velocity dispersion deviation parameter $\zeta$ , which is defined as the ratio between cluster velocity dispersion $\sigma$ and the theoretical prediction $\sigma_t = \sqrt{G M_{total}/R}$, we find that there is a linear correlation between the virial ratio $\eta$ and the velocity dispersion deviation parameter $\zeta$. We propose to use this $\zeta$ parameter, which can be derived easily from observed clusters, as a substitute of the $\eta$ parameter to quantify the cluster dynamical state.

 

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