Recent Postings from Cosmology and Extragalactic

BICEP's acceleration [Cross-Listing]

The recent BICEP2 detection of, what is claimed to be primordial $B$-modes, opens up the possibility of constraining not only the energy scale of inflation but also the detailed acceleration history that occurred during inflation. In turn this can be used to determine the shape of the inflaton potential $V(\phi)$ for the first time – if a single, scalar inflaton is assumed to be driving the acceleration. We carry out a Monte Carlo exploration of inflationary trajectories given the current data. Using this method we obtain a posterior distribution of possible acceleration profiles $\epsilon(N)$ as a function of $e$-fold $N$ and derived posterior distributions of the primordial power spectrum $P(k)$ and potential $V(\phi)$. We find that the BICEP2 result, in combination with Planck measurements of total intensity Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies, induces a significant feature in the scalar primordial spectrum at scales $k\sim 10^{-3}$ Mpc$^{-1}$. This is in agreement with a previous detection of a suppression in the scalar power.

BICEP's acceleration

The recent BICEP2 detection of, what is claimed to be primordial $B$-modes, opens up the possibility of constraining not only the energy scale of inflation but also the detailed acceleration history that occurred during inflation. In turn this can be used to determine the shape of the inflaton potential $V(\phi)$ for the first time – if a single, scalar inflaton is assumed to be driving the acceleration. We carry out a Monte Carlo exploration of inflationary trajectories given the current data. Using this method we obtain a posterior distribution of possible acceleration profiles $\epsilon(N)$ as a function of $e$-fold $N$ and derived posterior distributions of the primordial power spectrum $P(k)$ and potential $V(\phi)$. We find that the BICEP2 result, in combination with Planck measurements of total intensity Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies, induces a significant feature in the scalar primordial spectrum at scales $k\sim 10^{-3}$ Mpc$^{-1}$. This is in agreement with a previous detection of a suppression in the scalar power.

Local gravitational physics of the Hubble expansion

We study physical consequences of the Hubble expansion of FLRW manifold on measurement of space, time and light propagation in the local inertial frame. We analyse the solar system radar ranging and Doppler tracking experiments, and time synchronization. FLRW manifold is covered by global coordinates (t,y^i), where t is the cosmic time coinciding with the proper time of the Hubble observers. We introduce local inertial coordinates x^a=(x^0,x^i) in the vicinity of a world line of a Hubble observer with the help of a special conformal transformation. The local inertial metric is Minkowski flat and is materialized by the congruence of time-like geodesics of static observers being at rest with respect to the local spatial coordinates x^i. We consider geodesic motion of test particles and notice that the local coordinate time x^0=x^0(t) taken as a parameter along the world line of particle, is a function of the Hubble’s observer time t. This function changes smoothly from x^0=t for a particle at rest (observer’s clock), to x^0=t+1/2 Ht^2 for photons, where H is the Hubble constant. Thus, motion of a test particle is non-uniform when its world line is parametrized by time t. NASA JPL Orbit Determination Program presumes that motion of light (after the Shapiro delay is excluded) is uniform with respect to the time t but it does not comply with the non-uniform motion of light on cosmological manifold. For this reason, the motion of light in the solar system analysed with the Orbit Determination Program appears as having a systematic blue shift of frequency, of radio waves circulating in the Earth-spacecraft radio link. The magnitude of the anomalous blue shift of frequency is proportional to the Hubble constant H that may open an access to the measurement of this fundamental cosmological parameter in the solar system radiowave experiments.

Planck intermediate results. XXVI. Optical identification and redshifts of Planck clusters with the RTT150 telescope

We present the results of approximately three years of observations of Planck Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) sources with the Russian-Turkish 1.5-m telescope (RTT150), as a part of the optical follow-up programme undertaken by the Planck collaboration. During this time period approximately 20% of all dark and grey clear time available at the telescope was devoted to observations of Planck objects. Some observations of distant clusters were also done at the 6-m Bolshoy Telescope Azimutal’ny (BTA) of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In total, deep, direct images of more than one hundred fields were obtained in multiple filters. We identified 47 previously unknown galaxy clusters, 41 of which are included in the Planck catalogue of SZ sources. The redshifts of 65 Planck clusters were measured spectroscopically and 14 more were measured photometrically. We discuss the details of cluster optical identifications and redshift measurements. We also present new spectroscopic redhifts for 39 Planck clusters that were not included in the Planck SZ source catalogue and are published here for the first time.

Statistical Issues in Astrophysical Searches for Particle Dark Matter

In this review statistical issues appearing in astrophysical searches for particle dark matter, i.e. indirect detection (dark matter annihilating into standard model particles) or direct detection (dark matter particles scattering in deep underground detectors) are discussed. One particular aspect of these searches is the presence of very large uncertainties in nuisance parameters (astrophysical factors) that are degenerate with parameters of interest (mass and annihilation/decay cross sections for the particles). The likelihood approach has become the most powerful tool, offering at least one well motivated method for incorporation of nuisance parameters and increasing the sensitivity of experiments by allowing a combination of targets superior to the more traditional data stacking. Other statistical challenges appearing in astrophysical searches are to large extent similar to any new physics search, for example at colliders, a prime example being the calculation of trial factors. Frequentist methods prevail for hypothesis testing and interval estimation, Bayesian methods are used for assessment of nuisance parameters and parameter estimation in complex parameter spaces. The basic statistical concepts will be exposed, illustrated with concrete examples from experimental searches and caveats will be pointed out.

Statistical Issues in Astrophysical Searches for Particle Dark Matter [Cross-Listing]

In this review statistical issues appearing in astrophysical searches for particle dark matter, i.e. indirect detection (dark matter annihilating into standard model particles) or direct detection (dark matter particles scattering in deep underground detectors) are discussed. One particular aspect of these searches is the presence of very large uncertainties in nuisance parameters (astrophysical factors) that are degenerate with parameters of interest (mass and annihilation/decay cross sections for the particles). The likelihood approach has become the most powerful tool, offering at least one well motivated method for incorporation of nuisance parameters and increasing the sensitivity of experiments by allowing a combination of targets superior to the more traditional data stacking. Other statistical challenges appearing in astrophysical searches are to large extent similar to any new physics search, for example at colliders, a prime example being the calculation of trial factors. Frequentist methods prevail for hypothesis testing and interval estimation, Bayesian methods are used for assessment of nuisance parameters and parameter estimation in complex parameter spaces. The basic statistical concepts will be exposed, illustrated with concrete examples from experimental searches and caveats will be pointed out.

A volume-limited sample of X-ray galaxy groups and clusters - II. X-ray cavity dynamics

We present the results of our study of a volume-limited sample (z <= 0.071) of 101 X-ray galaxy groups and clusters, in which we explore the X-ray cavity energetics. Out of the 101 sources in our parent sample, X-ray cavities are found in 30 of them, all of which have a central cooling time of less than3 Gyr. New X-ray cavities are detected in three sources. We focus on the subset of sources that have a central cooling time of less than 3 Gyr, whose active galactic nucleus (AGN) duty cycle is approximately 61 percent (30/49). This rises to over 80 percent for a central cooling time of less than 0.5 Gyr. When projection effects and central radio source detection rates are considered, the actual duty cycle is probably much higher. In addition, we show that data quality strongly affects the detection rates of X-ray cavities. After calculating the cooling luminosity and cavity powers of each source with cavities, it is evident that the bubbling process induced by the central AGN has to be, on average, continuous, to offset cooling. We find that the radius of the cavities, r, loosely depends on the ambient gas temperature as T^0.5, above about 1.5 keV, with much more scatter below that temperature. Finally, we show that, at a given location in a group or cluster, larger bubbles travel faster than smaller ones. This means that the bubbles seen at larger distances from cluster cores could be the result of the merging of several smaller bubbles, produced in separate AGN cycles.

The Evolution of an Inhomogeneous Universe

A refined version of a recently introduced method for analysing the dynamics of an inhomogeneous irrotational dust universe is presented. A fully non-perturbative numerical computation of the time dependence of volume in this framework leads to the following results. If the initial state of the universe is Einstein-de Sitter with small Gaussian perturbations, then there is no acceleration even though the inhomogeneities strongly affect the evolution. A universe with a positive background curvature can exhibit acceleration, but not in conjunction with reasonable values for the Hubble rate. Thus the correct values for both quantities can be achieved only by introducing a positive cosmological constant. Possible loopholes to this conclusion are discussed; in particular, acceleration as an illusion created by peculiarities of light propagation in an inhomogeneous universe is still possible. Independently of the cosmological constant question, the present formalism should provide an important tool for precision cosmology.

Stationary Black Holes with Time-Dependent Scalar Fields [Cross-Listing]

It has been well known since the 1970s that stationary black holes do not generically support scalar hair. Most of the no-hair theorems which support this depend crucially upon the assumption that the scalar field has no time dependence. Here we fill in this omission by ruling out the existence of stationary black hole solutions even when the scalar field may have time dependence. Our proof is fairly general, and in particular applies to non-canonical scalar fields and certain non-asymptotically flat spacetimes. It also does not rely upon the spacetime being a black hole.

Stationary Black Holes with Time-Dependent Scalar Fields [Cross-Listing]

It has been well known since the 1970s that stationary black holes do not generically support scalar hair. Most of the no-hair theorems which support this depend crucially upon the assumption that the scalar field has no time dependence. Here we fill in this omission by ruling out the existence of stationary black hole solutions even when the scalar field may have time dependence. Our proof is fairly general, and in particular applies to non-canonical scalar fields and certain non-asymptotically flat spacetimes. It also does not rely upon the spacetime being a black hole.

The XMM-Newton/SDSS Galaxy Cluster Survey (PhD thesis)

The dissertation has been published at the Potsdam University under the following URL: http://opus.kobv.de/ubp/volltexte/2014/7122/

Constraints on ionising photon production from the large-scale Lyman-alpha forest

Recent work has shown that the z~2.5 Lyman-alpha forest on large scales encodes information about the galaxy and quasar populations that keep the intergalactic medium photoionized. We present the first forecasts for constraining the populations with data from current and next-generation surveys. At a minimum the forest should tell us whether galaxies or, conversely, quasars dominate the photon production. The number density and clustering strength of the ionising sources might be estimated to sub-10% precision with a DESI-like survey if degeneracies (e.g., with the photon mean-free-path, small-scale clustering power normalization and potentially other astrophysical effects) can be broken by prior information. We demonstrate that, when inhomogeneous ionisation is correctly handled, constraints on dark energy do not degrade.

Theoretical and observational constraints on the HI intensity power spectrum

Mapping of the neutral hydrogen (HI) 21-cm intensity fluctuations across redshifts promises a novel and powerful probe of cosmology. The neutral hydrogen gas mass density, $\Omega_{\rm HI}$ and bias parameter, $b_{\rm HI}$ are key astrophysical inputs to the HI intensity fluctuation power spectrum. We compile the latest theoretical and observational constraints on $\Omega_{\rm HI}$ and $b_{\rm HI}$ at various redshifts in the post-reionization universe. Constraints are incorporated from galaxy surveys, HI intensity mapping experiments, damped Lyman-$\alpha$ system observations, theoretical prescriptions for assigning HI to dark matter halos, and the results of numerical simulations. Using a minimum variance interpolation scheme, we obtain the predicted uncertainties on the HI intensity fluctuation power spectrum across redshifts 0-3.5. We provide a convenient tabular form for the interpolated values of $\Omega_{\rm HI}$, $b_{\rm HI}$ and the HI power spectrum amplitude and their uncertainties. We discuss the consequences for the measurement of the power spectrum by current and future intensity mapping experiments.

Model-Independent Plotting of the Cosmological Scale Factor as a Function of Lookback Time

In the present work we describe a model-independent method of developing a plot of scale factor versus lookback time from the usual Hubble diagram of modulus data against redshift. This is the first plot of this type. We follow the model-independent methodology of Daly and Djorgovski (2004) used for their radio-galaxy data. Once the data plot is completed, any model can be applied and will display accordingly as described in standard literature. We then compile an extensive data set to z = 1.8 by combining SNe Ia data from SNLS3 of Conley et al. (2011), High-z SNe data of Riess et al. (2004) and radio-galaxy data of Daly & Djorgovski (2004) to be used to validate the new plot. We first display these data on a standard Hubble diagram to confirm the best fit for LCDM cosmology and thus validate the joined data set. The scale factor plot is then developed from the data and the LCDM model is again displayed from a least-squares fit. The fit parameters are in agreement with the Hubble diagram fit confirming the validity of the new plot. Of special interest is the transition-time of the universe which in the scale factor plot will appear as an inflection point in the data set. Noise is more visible on this presentation which is particularly sensitive to inflection points of any model displayed on the plot unlike on a modulus-z diagram where there are no inflection points and the transition-z is not at all obvious by inspection. We obtain a lower limit of z >0.6. It is evident from this presentation that there is a dearth of SNe data in the range, z = 1-2, exactly the range necessary to confirm a LCDM transition-z in the neighborhood of z = 0.76.

A Consistency Relation for the CMB B-mode Polarization in the Squeezed Limit

A large-scale temperature perturbation has a non-zero correlation with the power spectrum of B-modes of cosmological origin on short scales while the corresponding correlation is expected to be zero for B-modes sourced by galactic foregrounds. We thus compute the squeezed limit of a three-point function in which one correlates the temperature fluctuations at large scales with two polarization modes at small scales. In the particular case of the B-mode polarization we obtain a relation that connects the squeezed limit of the $TBB$ three-point function with the cosmological B-mode power spectrum, which can be used as a consistency relation. This could in principle help to distinguish a primordial signal from that induced by inter-stellar dust.

Smooth halos in the cosmic web

Dark matter halos can be defined as smooth distributions of dark matter placed in a non-smooth cosmic web structure. This definition of halos demands a precise definition of smoothness and a characterization of the manner in which the transition from smooth halos to the cosmic web takes place. We introduce entropic measures of smoothness, related to measures of equality previously used in economy and with the advantage of being connected with standard methods of multifractal analysis already used for characterizing the cosmic web structure in $N$-body simulations. These entropic measures provide us with a quantitative description of the transition from the small scales portrayed as a distribution of halos to the larger scales portrayed as a cosmic web and, therefore, allow us to assign definite sizes to halos. However, these "smoothness sizes" have no direct relation to the virial radii.

Diffusion of cosmic rays at EeV energies in inhomogeneous extragalactic magnetic fields

Ultra-high energy cosmic rays can propagate diffusively in cosmic magnetic fields. When their propagation time is comparable to the age of the universe, a suppression in the flux relative to the case in the absence of magnetic fields will occur. In this work we find an approximate parametrization for this suppression at energies below $\sim$ Z EeV using several magnetic field distributions obtained from cosmological simulations of the magnetized cosmic web. We assume that the magnetic fields have a Kolmogorov power spectrum with the field strengths distributed according to these simulations. We show that, if magnetic fields are coupled to the matter distribution, low field strengths will fill most of the volume, making the suppression milder compared to the case of a constant magnetic field with strength equal to the mean value of this distribution. We also derive upper limits for this suppression to occur for some models of extragalactic magnetic fields, as a function of the coherence length of these fields.

Astrophysical Tests of Modified Gravity: Stellar and Gaseous Rotation Curves in Dwarf Galaxies

Chameleon theories of gravity predict that the gaseous component of isolated dwarf galaxies rotates with a faster velocity than the stellar component. In this paper, we exploit this effect to obtain new constraints on the model parameters using the measured rotation curves of six low surface brightness galaxies. For $f(R)$ theories, we rule out values of $f_{R0}>10^{-6}$. For more general theories, we find that the constraints from Cepheid variable stars are currently more competitive than the bounds we obtain here but we are able to rule out self-screening parameters $\chi_c>10^{-6}$ for fifth-force strengths (coupling of the scalar to matter) as low as $0.05$ the Newtonian force. This region of parameter space has hitherto been inaccessible to astrophysical probes. We discuss the future prospects for improving these bounds.

Einstein-aether theory with a Maxwell field: General formalism [Cross-Listing]

We extend the Einstein-aether theory to include the Maxwell field in a nontrivial manner by taking into account its interaction with the time-like unit vector field characterizing the aether. We also include a generic matter term. We present a model with a Lagrangian that includes cross-terms linear and quadratic in the Maxwell tensor, linear and quadratic in the covariant derivative of the aether velocity four-vector, linear in its second covariant derivative and in the Riemann tensor. We decompose these terms with respect to the irreducible parts of the covariant derivative of the aether velocity, namely, the acceleration four-vector, the shear and vorticity tensors, and the expansion scalar. Furthermore, we discuss the influence of an aether non-uniform motion on the polarization and magnetization of the matter in such an aether environment, as well as on its dielectric and magnetic properties. The total self-consistent system of equations for the electromagnetic and the gravitational fields, and the dynamic equations for the unit vector aether field are obtained. Possible applications of this system are discussed. Based on the principles of effective field theories, we display in an appendix all the terms up to fourth order in derivative operators that can be considered in a Lagrangian that includes the metric, the electromagnetic and the aether fields.

Einstein-aether theory with a Maxwell field: General formalism [Cross-Listing]

We extend the Einstein-aether theory to include the Maxwell field in a nontrivial manner by taking into account its interaction with the time-like unit vector field characterizing the aether. We also include a generic matter term. We present a model with a Lagrangian that includes cross-terms linear and quadratic in the Maxwell tensor, linear and quadratic in the covariant derivative of the aether velocity four-vector, linear in its second covariant derivative and in the Riemann tensor. We decompose these terms with respect to the irreducible parts of the covariant derivative of the aether velocity, namely, the acceleration four-vector, the shear and vorticity tensors, and the expansion scalar. Furthermore, we discuss the influence of an aether non-uniform motion on the polarization and magnetization of the matter in such an aether environment, as well as on its dielectric and magnetic properties. The total self-consistent system of equations for the electromagnetic and the gravitational fields, and the dynamic equations for the unit vector aether field are obtained. Possible applications of this system are discussed. Based on the principles of effective field theories, we display in an appendix all the terms up to fourth order in derivative operators that can be considered in a Lagrangian that includes the metric, the electromagnetic and the aether fields.

Einstein-aether theory with a Maxwell field: General formalism [Cross-Listing]

We extend the Einstein-aether theory to include the Maxwell field in a nontrivial manner by taking into account its interaction with the time-like unit vector field characterizing the aether. We also include a generic matter term. We present a model with a Lagrangian that includes cross-terms linear and quadratic in the Maxwell tensor, linear and quadratic in the covariant derivative of the aether velocity four-vector, linear in its second covariant derivative and in the Riemann tensor. We decompose these terms with respect to the irreducible parts of the covariant derivative of the aether velocity, namely, the acceleration four-vector, the shear and vorticity tensors, and the expansion scalar. Furthermore, we discuss the influence of an aether non-uniform motion on the polarization and magnetization of the matter in such an aether environment, as well as on its dielectric and magnetic properties. The total self-consistent system of equations for the electromagnetic and the gravitational fields, and the dynamic equations for the unit vector aether field are obtained. Possible applications of this system are discussed. Based on the principles of effective field theories, we display in an appendix all the terms up to fourth order in derivative operators that can be considered in a Lagrangian that includes the metric, the electromagnetic and the aether fields.

Inflation Driven by Unification Energy

We examine the hypothesis that inflation is primarily driven by vacuum energy at a scale indicated by gauge coupling unification. Concretely, we consider a class of hybrid inflation models wherein the vacuum energy associated with a grand unified theory condensate provides the dominant energy during inflation, while a second "inflaton" scalar slow-rolls. We show that it is possible to obtain significant tensor-to-scalar ratios while fitting the observed spectral index.

Inflation Driven by Unification Energy [Cross-Listing]

We examine the hypothesis that inflation is primarily driven by vacuum energy at a scale indicated by gauge coupling unification. Concretely, we consider a class of hybrid inflation models wherein the vacuum energy associated with a grand unified theory condensate provides the dominant energy during inflation, while a second "inflaton" scalar slow-rolls. We show that it is possible to obtain significant tensor-to-scalar ratios while fitting the observed spectral index.

Inflation Driven by Unification Energy [Cross-Listing]

We examine the hypothesis that inflation is primarily driven by vacuum energy at a scale indicated by gauge coupling unification. Concretely, we consider a class of hybrid inflation models wherein the vacuum energy associated with a grand unified theory condensate provides the dominant energy during inflation, while a second "inflaton" scalar slow-rolls. We show that it is possible to obtain significant tensor-to-scalar ratios while fitting the observed spectral index.

Inflation Driven by Unification Energy [Cross-Listing]

We examine the hypothesis that inflation is primarily driven by vacuum energy at a scale indicated by gauge coupling unification. Concretely, we consider a class of hybrid inflation models wherein the vacuum energy associated with a grand unified theory condensate provides the dominant energy during inflation, while a second "inflaton" scalar slow-rolls. We show that it is possible to obtain significant tensor-to-scalar ratios while fitting the observed spectral index.

Optical Confirmation and Redshift Estimation of the Planck Cluster Candidates overlapping the Pan-STARRS Survey

We report results of a study of Planck Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect (SZE) selected galaxy cluster candidates using the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) imaging data. We first examine 150 Planck confirmed galaxy clusters with spectroscopic redshifts to test our algorithm for identifying optical counterparts and measuring their redshifts; our redshifts have a typical accuracy of $\sigma_{z/(1+z)} \sim 0.022$ for this sample. We then examine an additional 237 Planck galaxy cluster candidates that have no redshift in the source catalogue. Of these 237 unconfirmed cluster candidates we are able to confirm 60 galaxy clusters and measure their redshifts. A further 83 candidates are so heavily contaminated by stars due to their location near the Galactic plane that we do not attempt to identify counterparts. For the remaining 94 candidates we find no optical counterpart but use the depth of the Pan-STARRS1 data to estimate a redshift lower limit $z_{\text{lim}(10^{15})}$ beyond which we would not have expected to detect enough galaxies for confirmation. Scaling from the already published Planck sample, we expect that $\sim$12 of these unconfirmed candidates may be real clusters.

Inert scalar dark matter in an extra dimension inspired model [Cross-Listing]

In this paper we analyze a dark matter model inspired by theories with extra dimensions. The dark matter candidate corresponds to the first Kaluza-Klein mode of an real scalar added to the Standard Model. The tower of new particles enriches the calculation of the relic abundance. For large mass splitting, the model converges to the predictions of the inert singlet dark matter model. For nearly degenerate mass spectrum, coannihilations increase the cross-sections used for direct and indirect dark matter searches. Moreover, the Kaluza-Klein zero mode can mix with the SM higgs and further constraints can be applied.

Monitoring the Variability of Intrinsic Absorption Lines in Quasar Spectra

We have monitored 12 intrinsic narrow absorption lines (NALs) in five quasars and seven mini-broad absorption lines (mini-BALs) in six quasars for a period of 4-12 years (1-3.5 years in the quasar rest-frame). We present the observational data and the conclusions that follow immediately from them, as a prelude to a more detailed analysis. We found clear variability in the equivalent widths (EWs) of the mini-BAL systems but no easily discernible changes in their profiles. We did not detect any variability in the NAL systems nor in narrow components that are often located at the center of mini-BAL profiles. Variations in mini-BAL EWs are larger at longer time intervals, reminiscent of the trend seen in variable broad absorption lines. If we assume that the observed variations result from changes in the ionization state of the mini-BAL gas, we infer lower limits to the gas density $\sim$ 10$^3$-10$^5$ cm$^{-3}$ and upper limits on the distance of the absorbers from the central engine of order a few kpc. Motivated by the observed variability properties, we suggest that mini-BALs can vary because of fluctuations of the ionizing continuum or changes in partial coverage while NALs can vary primarily because of changes in partial coverage.

Clumping factors of HII, HeII and HeIII

Estimating the intergalactic medium ionization level of a region needs proper treatment of the reionization process for a large representative volume of the universe. The clumping factor, a parameter which accounts for the effect of recombinations in unresolved, small-scale structures, aids in achieving the required accuracy for the reionization history even in simulations with low spatial resolution. In this paper, we study for the first time the redshift evolution of clumping factors of different ionized species of H and He in a small but very high resolution simulation of the reionization process. We investigate the dependence of the value and redshift evolution of clumping factors on their definition, the ionization level of the gas, the grid resolution, box size and mean dimensionless density of the simulations.

Decoding the final state in binary black hole mergers [Cross-Listing]

We demonstrate that in binary black hole mergers there is a direct correlation between the frequency of the gravitational wave at peak amplitude and the mass and spin of the final black hole. This correlation could potentially assist with the analysis of gravitational wave observations from binary black hole mergers.

Scalar suppression on large scales in open inflation

We consider two toy models of open inflation and investigate their ability to give a suppression of scalar power on large scales whilst also satisfying observational constraints on the spatial curvature of the universe. Qualitatively we find that both models are indeed capable of fulfilling these two requirements, but we also see that effects of the quantum tunnelling must be carefully taken into account if we wish to make quantitative predictions.

Scalar suppression on large scales in open inflation [Cross-Listing]

We consider two toy models of open inflation and investigate their ability to give a suppression of scalar power on large scales whilst also satisfying observational constraints on the spatial curvature of the universe. Qualitatively we find that both models are indeed capable of fulfilling these two requirements, but we also see that effects of the quantum tunnelling must be carefully taken into account if we wish to make quantitative predictions.

Scalar suppression on large scales in open inflation [Cross-Listing]

We consider two toy models of open inflation and investigate their ability to give a suppression of scalar power on large scales whilst also satisfying observational constraints on the spatial curvature of the universe. Qualitatively we find that both models are indeed capable of fulfilling these two requirements, but we also see that effects of the quantum tunnelling must be carefully taken into account if we wish to make quantitative predictions.

The bow shock, cold fronts and disintegrating cool core in the merging galaxy group RXJ0751.3+5012

We present a new Chandra X-ray observation of the off-axis galaxy group merger RXJ0751.3+5012. The hot atmospheres of the two colliding groups appear highly distorted by the merger. The images reveal arc-like cold fronts around each group core, produced by the motion through the ambient medium, and the first detection of a group merger shock front. We detect a clear density and temperature jump associated with a bow shock of Mach number M=1.9+/-0.4 ahead of the northern group. Using galaxy redshifts and the shock velocity of 1100+/-300 km/s, we estimate that the merger axis is only 10deg from the plane of the sky. From the projected group separation of 90 kpc, this corresponds to a time since closest approach of 0.1 Gyr. The northern group hosts a dense, cool core with a ram pressure stripped tail of gas extending 100 kpc. The sheared sides of this tail appear distorted and broadened by Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. We use the presence of this substructure to place an upper limit on the magnetic field strength and, for Spitzer-like viscosity, show that the development of these structures is consistent with the critical perturbation length above which instabilities can grow in the intragroup medium. The northern group core also hosts a galaxy pair, UGC4052, with a surrounding IR and near-UV ring 40 kpc in diameter. The ring may have been produced by tidal stripping of a smaller galaxy by UGC4052 or it may be a collisional ring generated by a close encounter between the two large galaxies.

Black hole entropy of new bigravity

In arXiv:1402.5737, we proposed a new ghost-free massive spin two model. This model consists of a kinetic term and non-derivative interaction terms. Thus, the theory is expected to have different propertis from de Rham-Gabadadze-Tolley (dRGT) massive gravity. In this paper, we couple this spin-2 theory with gravity and obtain a black hole solution in addition to (anti-) de Sitter space solution. Furthermore, by calculating the black hole entropy, we investigate the effect of this new spin-2 model to the Einstein gravity.

Black hole entropy of new bigravity [Cross-Listing]

In arXiv:1402.5737, we proposed a new ghost-free massive spin two model. This model consists of a kinetic term and non-derivative interaction terms. Thus, the theory is expected to have different propertis from de Rham-Gabadadze-Tolley (dRGT) massive gravity. In this paper, we couple this spin-2 theory with gravity and obtain a black hole solution in addition to (anti-) de Sitter space solution. Furthermore, by calculating the black hole entropy, we investigate the effect of this new spin-2 model to the Einstein gravity.

Black hole entropy of new bigravity

In arXiv:1402.5737, we proposed a new ghost-free massive spin two model. This model consists of a kinetic term and non-derivative interaction terms. Thus, the theory is expected to have different propertis from de Rham-Gabadadze-Tolley (dRGT) massive gravity. In this paper, we couple this spin-2 theory with gravity and obtain a black hole solution in addition to (anti-) de Sitter space solution. Furthermore, by calculating the black hole entropy, we investigate the effect of this new spin-2 model to the Einstein gravity.

Metal distribution in the ICM - a comprehensive numerical study of twelve galaxy clusters

We present a simulation setup for studying the dynamical and chemical evolution of the intracluster medium (ICM) and analyze a sample of 12 galaxy clusters that are diverse both kinetically (pre-merger, merging, virialized) and in total mass (M vir = 1.17 x 10^14 – 1.06 x 10^15 M). We analyzed the metal mass fraction in the ICM as a function of redshift and discuss radial trends as well as projected 2D metallicity maps. The setup combines high mass resolution N-body simulations with the semi-analytical galaxy formation model Galacticus for consistent treatment of the subgrid physics (such as galactic winds and ram-pressure stripping) in the cosmological hydrodynamical simulations. The interface between Galacticus and the hydro simulation of the ICM with FLASH is discussed with respect to observations of star formation rate histories, radial star formation trends in galaxy clusters, and the metallicity at different redshifts. As a test for the robustness of the wind model, we compare three prescriptions from different approaches. For the wind model directly taken from Galacticus, we find mean ICM metallicities between 0.2 – 0.8Z within the inner 1Mpc at z = 0. The main contribution to the metal mass fraction comes from galactic winds. The outflows are efficiently mixed in the ICM, leading to a steady homogenization of metallicities until ram-pressure stripping becomes effective at low redshifts. We find a very peculiar and yet common drop in metal mass fractions within the inner ~200kpc of the cool cores, which is due to a combination of wind suppression by outer pressure within our model and a lack of mixing after the formation of these dense regions.

Pulsar timing arrays and the challenge of massive black hole binary astrophysics

Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are designed to detect gravitational waves (GWs) at nHz frequencies. The expected dominant signal is given by the superposition of all waves emitted by the cosmological population of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries. Such superposition creates an incoherent stochastic background, on top of which particularly bright or nearby sources might be individually resolved. In this contribution I describe the properties of the expected GW signal, highlighting its dependence on the overall binary population, the relation between SMBHs and their hosts, and their coupling with the stellar and gaseous environment. I describe the status of current PTA efforts, and prospect of future detection and SMBH binary astrophysics.

The Distortion of the Cosmic Microwave Background by the Milky Way

The Milky Way can act as a large-scale weak gravitational lens of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We study this effect using a photon ray-tracing code and a Galactic mass distribution with disk, bulge and halo components. For an observer at the Sun’s coordinates in the Galaxy, the bending of CMB photon paths is limited to less than one arcsecond, and only for rays that pass within a few degrees of the Galactic Center. However, the entire sky is affected, resulting in global distortions of the CMB on large angular scales. These distortions can cause the low-order multipoles of a spherical harmonic expansion of the CMB sky temperature to leak into higher-order modes. Thus the component of the CMB dipole that results from the Local Group’s motion relative to the local cosmic frame of rest contributes to higher-order moments for an observer in the solar system. With our ray-tracing code we show that the phenomenon is not sensitive to the specific choice of Galactic potential. We also quantitatively rule it out as a contributor to CMB anomalies such as power asymmetry or correlated alignment of low-order multipole moments.

The power spectrum and bispectrum of SDSS DR11 BOSS galaxies I: bias and gravity

We analyse the anisotropic clustering of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) CMASS Data Release 11 sample, which consists of 690827 galaxies in the redshift range 0.43<z<0.70 and has a sky coverage of 8498 deg$^2$ corresponding to an effective volume of $\sim6\,\rm{Gpc}^3$. We fit the Fourier space statistics, the power spectrum and bispectrum monopoles to measure the linear and quadratic bias parameters, $b_1$ and $b_2$, for a non-linear non-local bias model, the growth of structure parameter $f$ and the amplitude of dark matter density fluctuations parametrised by $\sigma_8$. We obtain $b_1(z_{\rm eff})^{1.40}\sigma_8(z_{\rm eff})=1.672\pm 0.060$ and $b_2^{0.30}(z_{\rm eff})\sigma_8(z_{\rm eff})=0.579\pm0.082$ at the effective redshift of the survey, $z_{\rm eff}=0.57$. The main cosmological result is the constraint on the combination $f^{0.43}(z_{\rm eff})\sigma_8(z_{\rm eff})=0.582\pm0.084$, which is complementary to $f\sigma_8$ constraints obtained from 2-point redshift space distortion analyses. A less conservative analysis yields $f^{0.43}(z_{\rm eff})\sigma_8(z_{\rm eff})=0.584\pm0.051$. We ensure that our result is robust by performing detailed systematic tests using a large suite of survey galaxy mock catalogs and N-body simulations. The constraints on $f^{0.43}\sigma_8$ are useful for setting additional constrains on neutrino mass, gravity, curvature as well as the number of neutrino species from galaxy surveys analyses (as presented in a companion paper).

New Modified Mimetic Gravity [Cross-Listing]

A modified Mimetic gravity (MMG) is proposed as a generalization of general relativity. The model contain a physical metric which is function of an auxiliary (unphysical) metric and a lyra’s metric. We construct different kinds of conformally invariant models in different levels of the expansion parameter $\lambda$. This model phenomenologically has been extended to higher order forms. Cosmology of a certain class of such models has been investigated in details. A cosmological solution has been proposed in inhomogenous form of scalar field. For homogenous case, energy conditions are widely investigated. We have shown that the system evaluated at intervals shorter than a certain time $T_c$ meets all the energy conditions. At times longer than this particular time would violate energy conditions. This means that the system has one state anymore Investment Phase.

New Modified Mimetic Gravity [Cross-Listing]

A modified Mimetic gravity (MMG) is proposed as a generalization of general relativity. The model contain a physical metric which is function of an auxiliary (unphysical) metric and a lyra’s metric. We construct different kinds of conformally invariant models in different levels of the expansion parameter $\lambda$. This model phenomenologically has been extended to higher order forms. Cosmology of a certain class of such models has been investigated in details. A cosmological solution has been proposed in inhomogenous form of scalar field. For homogenous case, energy conditions are widely investigated. We have shown that the system evaluated at intervals shorter than a certain time $T_c$ meets all the energy conditions. At times longer than this particular time would violate energy conditions. This means that the system has one state anymore Investment Phase.

New Modified Mimetic Gravity [Cross-Listing]

A modified Mimetic gravity (MMG) is proposed as a generalization of general relativity. The model contain a physical metric which is function of an auxiliary (unphysical) metric and a lyra’s metric. We construct different kinds of conformally invariant models in different levels of the expansion parameter $\lambda$. This model phenomenologically has been extended to higher order forms. Cosmology of a certain class of such models has been investigated in details. A cosmological solution has been proposed in inhomogenous form of scalar field. For homogenous case, energy conditions are widely investigated. We have shown that the system evaluated at intervals shorter than a certain time $T_c$ meets all the energy conditions. At times longer than this particular time would violate energy conditions. This means that the system has one state anymore Investment Phase.

Ecliptic proximity and clustering of fast radio bursts [Replacement]

It is pointed out that the positional distribution of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) shows proximity and clustering around the ecliptic. Their dispersion measure (DM) has a weak (80 percent significance level) correlation with the magnitude of the ecliptic latitude. The so called Perytons, however, show no significant proximity to any one of the three astronomical planes, viz celestial, ecliptic or galactic, although they are closer to the galactic plane.

Ecliptic proximity and clustering of fast radio bursts

It is pointed out that the positional distribution of fast radio bursts shows proximity and clustering around the ecliptic rather than the celestial or the galactic equator in the corresponding coordinate systems. The result is interpreted as indicating a role, more significant than credited so far, the solar system plays in their occurrence. FRBs considered lie inside a region of 1.97 steradian. The probability, assuming a uniform distribution, that six of these FRBs, which are considered to be cleaner cosmological candidates, lie inside a region of 1.97 steradian, is about 0.00005. This result rules out a uniform distribution of galactic/cosmological origin. Their dispersion measure has a weak correlation with the magnitude of the ecliptic latitude. The so called Perytons, however, show no significant proximity to any one of these three planes although they are closer to the galactic plane.

Mapping the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Effect

On large scales, the anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) reflect not only the primordial field but also the energy gain when photons traverse decaying gravitational potentials of large scales structure, the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect. Decomposing the anisotropy signal into a primordial piece and an ISW component is more urgent than ever as cosmologists strive to understand the Universe on the largest of scales. Here we present a likelihood technique for extracting the ISW signal from measurements of the CMB, the distribution of galaxies, and maps of gravitational lensing. We test this technique first to simulated data and then we apply it to the combination of temperature anisotropies, the lensing map made by the Planck satellite, and the NVSS galaxy survey. We also show projections for upcoming surveys.

The influence of the environmental history on quenching star formation in a $\Lambda$CDM universe

We present a detailed analysis of the influence of the environment and of the environmental history on quenching star formation in central and satellite galaxies in the local Universe. We take advantage of publicly available galaxy catalogues obtained from applying a galaxy formation model to the Millennium simulation. In addition to halo mass, we consider the local density of galaxies within various fixed scales. Comparing our model predictions to observational data (SDSS), we demonstrate that the models are failing to reproduce the observed density dependence of the quiescent galaxy fraction in several aspects: for most of the stellar mass ranges and densities explored, models cannot reproduce the observed similar behaviour of centrals and satellites, they slightly under-estimate the quiescent fraction of centrals and significantly over-estimate that of satellites. We show that in the models, the density dependence of the quiescent central galaxies is caused by a fraction of "backsplash" centrals which have been satellites in the past (and were thus suffering from environmental processes). Turning to satellite galaxies, the density dependence of their quiescent fractions reflects a dependence on the time spent orbiting within a parent halo of a particular mass, correlating strongly with halo mass and distance from the halo centre. Comparisons with observational estimates suggest relatively long gas consumption time scales of roughly 5 Gyr in low mass satellite galaxies. The quenching time scales decrease with increasing satellite stellar mass. Overall, a change in modelling both internal processes (star formation and feedback) and environmental processes (e.g. making them dependent on dynamical friction time-scales and preventing the re-accretion of gas onto backsplash galaxies) is required for improving currently used galaxy formation models.

The Starfish Diagram: Visualising Data Within the Context of Survey Samples

As astronomy becomes increasingly invested in large surveys, the ample representation of an individual target becomes a significant challenge. Tabulations of basic properties can convey the message in an absolute sense, but not within the context of the sample from which the individual is drawn. We present a novel but simple plot that simultaneously visualises the properties of the sample and the individual. Numbers and characters are kept at an absolute minimum to enable the stacking of such plots without introducing too much verbal information. Once the user becomes accustomed to their appearance, a set of ‘starfish diagrams’ provide a direct representation of the individual within a sample, or between various samples. The utility and versatility of the plot is demonstrated through its application to astrophysical data and sports statistics. We provide a brief description of the concept and the source code, which is simple to adapt to any statistical dataset, be it descriptive of physics, demographics, finance, and more.

Testing the mutual consistency of different supernovae surveys

It is now common practice to constrain cosmological parameters using supernovae (SNe) catalogues constructed from several different surveys. Before performing such a joint analysis, however, one should check that parameter constraints derived from the individual SNe surveys that make up the catalogue are mutually consistent. We describe a statistically-robust mutual consistency test, which we calibrate using simulations, and apply it to each pairwise combination of the surveys making up, respectively, the UNION2 catalogue and the very recent JLA compilation by Betoule et al. We find no inconsistencies in the latter case, but conclusive evidence for inconsistency between some survey pairs in the UNION2 catalogue.

 

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