Recent Postings from Cosmology and Extragalactic

The Loudest Gravitational Wave Events

We derive the universal distribution of signal-to-noise ratios for gravitational wave detection. Because gravitational waves (GWs) are almost impossible to obscure via dust absorption or other astrophysical processes, the strength of the detected signal is dictated solely by the emission strength and the distance to the source. Assuming that the space density of an arbitrary population of GW sources does not evolve, the distribution of detected signal-to-noise (SNR) values depends solely on the detection threshold; it is independent of the detector network (interferometer or pulsar timing array), the individual detector noise curves (initial or Advanced LIGO), the nature of the GW sources (compact binary coalescence, supernova, or some other discrete source), and the distributions of source variables such as the binary masses and spins (only non-spinning neutron stars of mass exactly $1.4\,M_\odot$ or a complicated distribution of masses and spins). We also derive the SNR distribution for each individual detector within a network as a function of the relative detector orientations and sensitivities. While most detections will have SNR near the detection threshold, there will be a tail of events to higher SNR. We derive the SNR distribution of the loudest (highest SNR) events in any given sample of detections. We find that in 50% of cases the loudest event out of the first four should have an SNR louder than 22 (for a threshold of 12, appropriate for the Advanced LIGO/Virgo network), increasing to a loudest SNR of 47 for 40 detections. We expect these loudest events to provide particularly powerful constraints on their source parameters, and they will play an important role in extracting astrophysics from gravitational wave sources. These distributions also offer an important internal calibration of the response of the GW detector networks.

The Loudest Gravitational Wave Events [Cross-Listing]

We derive the universal distribution of signal-to-noise ratios for gravitational wave detection. Because gravitational waves (GWs) are almost impossible to obscure via dust absorption or other astrophysical processes, the strength of the detected signal is dictated solely by the emission strength and the distance to the source. Assuming that the space density of an arbitrary population of GW sources does not evolve, the distribution of detected signal-to-noise (SNR) values depends solely on the detection threshold; it is independent of the detector network (interferometer or pulsar timing array), the individual detector noise curves (initial or Advanced LIGO), the nature of the GW sources (compact binary coalescence, supernova, or some other discrete source), and the distributions of source variables such as the binary masses and spins (only non-spinning neutron stars of mass exactly $1.4\,M_\odot$ or a complicated distribution of masses and spins). We also derive the SNR distribution for each individual detector within a network as a function of the relative detector orientations and sensitivities. While most detections will have SNR near the detection threshold, there will be a tail of events to higher SNR. We derive the SNR distribution of the loudest (highest SNR) events in any given sample of detections. We find that in 50% of cases the loudest event out of the first four should have an SNR louder than 22 (for a threshold of 12, appropriate for the Advanced LIGO/Virgo network), increasing to a loudest SNR of 47 for 40 detections. We expect these loudest events to provide particularly powerful constraints on their source parameters, and they will play an important role in extracting astrophysics from gravitational wave sources. These distributions also offer an important internal calibration of the response of the GW detector networks.

Effects Of The Ionosphere On Ground-Based Detection Of The Global 21 CM Signal From The Cosmic Dawn And The Dark Ages

Detection of global HI 21 cm signal from the Cosmic Dawn and the Epoch of Reionization is the key science driver for several ongoing ground-based and future ground/space based experiments. The crucial spectral features in the global 21cm signal (turning points) occurs at low radio frequencies < 100 MHz. In addition to the human-generated RFI (Radio Frequency Interference), Earth’s ionosphere drastically corrupts low-frequency radio observations from the ground. In this paper, we examine the effects of time-varying ionospheric refraction, absorption and thermal emission at these low radio frequencies and their combined effect on any ground-based global 21cm experiment. It should be noted that this is the first study of the effect of a dynamic ionosphere on global 21cm experiments. Our results indicate that the spectral features in the global 21cm signal below 100 MHz cannot be detected from the ground under even "quiet" night-time ionospheric conditions. Any attempt to calibrate the ionospheric effect will be subject to the inaccuracies in the current ionospheric measurements using GPS (Global Positioning System) ionospheric measurements, riometer measurements, ionospheric soundings, etc. Even considering an optimistic improvement in the accuracy of GPS-TEC (Total Electron Content) measurements, we conclude that the detection of the global 21cm signal below 100 MHz from the ground is not possible. Hence, a space-based mission above the Earth’s atmosphere is best suited to carry out these high sensitivity observations of the global 21 cm signal at low radio frequencies.

On tidal capture of primordial black holes by neutron stars

The fraction of primordial black holes (PBHs) of masses $10^{17} – 10^{26}$ g in the total amount of dark matter may be constrained by considering their capture by neutron stars (NSs), which leads to the rapid destruction of the latter. The constraints depend crucially on the capture rate which, in turn, is determined by the energy loss by a PBH passing through a NS. Two alternative approaches to estimate the energy loss have been used in the literature: the one based on the dynamical friction mechanism, and another on tidal deformations of the NS by the PBH. The second mechanism was claimed to be more efficient by several orders of magnitude due to the excitation of particular oscillation modes reminiscent of the surface waves. We address this disagreement by considering a simple analytically solvable model that consists of a flat incompressible fluid in an external gravitational field. In this model, we calculate the energy loss by a PBH traversing the fluid surface. We find that the excitation of modes with the propagation velocity smaller than that of PBH is suppressed, which implies that in a realistic situation of a supersonic PBH the large contributions from the surface waves are absent and the above two approaches lead to consistent expressions for the energy loss.

On tidal capture of primordial black holes by neutron stars [Cross-Listing]

The fraction of primordial black holes (PBHs) of masses $10^{17} – 10^{26}$ g in the total amount of dark matter may be constrained by considering their capture by neutron stars (NSs), which leads to the rapid destruction of the latter. The constraints depend crucially on the capture rate which, in turn, is determined by the energy loss by a PBH passing through a NS. Two alternative approaches to estimate the energy loss have been used in the literature: the one based on the dynamical friction mechanism, and another on tidal deformations of the NS by the PBH. The second mechanism was claimed to be more efficient by several orders of magnitude due to the excitation of particular oscillation modes reminiscent of the surface waves. We address this disagreement by considering a simple analytically solvable model that consists of a flat incompressible fluid in an external gravitational field. In this model, we calculate the energy loss by a PBH traversing the fluid surface. We find that the excitation of modes with the propagation velocity smaller than that of PBH is suppressed, which implies that in a realistic situation of a supersonic PBH the large contributions from the surface waves are absent and the above two approaches lead to consistent expressions for the energy loss.

Discrete Newtonian Cosmology: Perturbations

In a previous paper [arXiv:1308.1852] we showed how a finite system of discrete particles interacting with each other via Newtonian gravitational attraction would lead to precisely the same dynamical equations for homothetic motion as in the case of the pressure-free Friedmann-Lema\^{i}tre-Robertson-Walker cosmological models of General Relativity Theory, provided the distribution of particles obeys the central configuration equation. In this paper we show one can obtain perturbed such Newtonian solutions that give the same linearised structure growth equations as in the general relativity case. We also obtain the Dmitriev-Zeldovich equations for subsystems in this discrete gravitational model, and show how it leads to the conclusion that voids have an apparent negative mass.

Discrete Newtonian Cosmology: Perturbations [Cross-Listing]

In a previous paper [arXiv:1308.1852] we showed how a finite system of discrete particles interacting with each other via Newtonian gravitational attraction would lead to precisely the same dynamical equations for homothetic motion as in the case of the pressure-free Friedmann-Lema\^{i}tre-Robertson-Walker cosmological models of General Relativity Theory, provided the distribution of particles obeys the central configuration equation. In this paper we show one can obtain perturbed such Newtonian solutions that give the same linearised structure growth equations as in the general relativity case. We also obtain the Dmitriev-Zeldovich equations for subsystems in this discrete gravitational model, and show how it leads to the conclusion that voids have an apparent negative mass.

Why is the Dark Axion Mass $10^{-22}$ eV? [Cross-Listing]

Scalar field dark matter likely is able to solve all small-scale cosmology problems facing the cold dark matter (CDM), and has become an emerging contender to challenge the CDM. It however requires a particle mass $\sim 1 – 2 \times10^{-22}$eV. We find such an extremely small particle mass can naturally arise from a non-QCD axion mechanism, under fairly general assumptions that a few species of self-interacting light particles of comparable masses and a massless gauge boson decouple from the bright sector since the photon temperature exceeds 200 GeV, and the axion is the dominant dark matter. These assumptions also set the axion decay constant scale to several $\times 10^{16}$ GeV. Given the above axion mass range, we further pin down the dark-sector particles to consist of only one species of fermion and anti-fermion, likely right-handed neutrinos. With a mass around $92-128$ eV, the dark-sector particles may constitute a minority population of dark matter. If the gauge boson lives on SU(2), a dilute instanton gas can contribute about $2.5\%$ of the total relativistic relics in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Why is the Dark Axion Mass $10^{-22}$ eV?

Scalar field dark matter likely is able to solve all small-scale cosmology problems facing the cold dark matter (CDM), and has become an emerging contender to challenge the CDM. It however requires a particle mass $\sim 1 – 2 \times10^{-22}$eV. We find such an extremely small particle mass can naturally arise from a non-QCD axion mechanism, under fairly general assumptions that a few species of self-interacting light particles of comparable masses and a massless gauge boson decouple from the bright sector since the photon temperature exceeds 200 GeV, and the axion is the dominant dark matter. These assumptions also set the axion decay constant scale to several $\times 10^{16}$ GeV. Given the above axion mass range, we further pin down the dark-sector particles to consist of only one species of fermion and anti-fermion, likely right-handed neutrinos. With a mass around $92-128$ eV, the dark-sector particles may constitute a minority population of dark matter. If the gauge boson lives on SU(2), a dilute instanton gas can contribute about $2.5\%$ of the total relativistic relics in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

R-symmetric Axion/Natural Inflation in Supergravity via Deformed Moduli Dynamics

We construct a natural inflation model in supergravity where the inflaton is identified with a modulus field possessing a shift symmetry. The superpotential for the inflaton is generated by meson condensation due to strong dynamics with deformed moduli constraints. In contrast to models based on gaugino condensation, the inflaton potential is generated without $R$-symmetry breaking and hence does not depend on the gravitino mass. Thus, our model is compatible with low scale supersymmetry.

R-symmetric Axion/Natural Inflation in Supergravity via Deformed Moduli Dynamics [Cross-Listing]

We construct a natural inflation model in supergravity where the inflaton is identified with a modulus field possessing a shift symmetry. The superpotential for the inflaton is generated by meson condensation due to strong dynamics with deformed moduli constraints. In contrast to models based on gaugino condensation, the inflaton potential is generated without $R$-symmetry breaking and hence does not depend on the gravitino mass. Thus, our model is compatible with low scale supersymmetry.

R-symmetric Axion/Natural Inflation in Supergravity via Deformed Moduli Dynamics [Cross-Listing]

We construct a natural inflation model in supergravity where the inflaton is identified with a modulus field possessing a shift symmetry. The superpotential for the inflaton is generated by meson condensation due to strong dynamics with deformed moduli constraints. In contrast to models based on gaugino condensation, the inflaton potential is generated without $R$-symmetry breaking and hence does not depend on the gravitino mass. Thus, our model is compatible with low scale supersymmetry.

Chemical Evolution on the Scale of Clusters of Galaxies: A Conundrum?

The metal content of clusters of galaxies and its relation to their stellar content is revisited making use of a cluster sample for which all four basic parameters are homogeneously measured within consistent radii, namely core-excised mass-weighted metallicity plus total, stellar and ICM masses. For clusters of total mass $M_{500} >$ $\sim 10^{14}$ $M_{\odot}$ nice agreement is found between their iron content and what expected from empirical supernova yields. For the same clusters, there also appears to be at least as much iron in the intracluster medium (ICM) as there is still locked into stars (i.e., the ICM/stars metal share is about unity). However, for more massive clusters the stellar mass fraction appears to drop substantially without being accompanied by a drop in the ICM metallicity, thus generating a major tension with the nucleosynthesis expectation and inflating the metal share to extremely high values (up to $\sim 6$). Various possible solutions of this conundrum are discussed, but are all considered either astrophysically implausible, or lacking an independent observational support. For this reason we still entertain the possibility that even some of the best cluster data may be faulty, though we are not able to identify any obvious bias. Finally, based on the stellar mass-metallicity relation for local galaxies we estimate the contribution of galaxies to the ICM enrichment as a function of their mass, concluding that even the most massive galaxies must have lost a major fraction of the metals they have produced.

Reducing the Tension Between the BICEP2 and the Planck Measurements: A Complete Exploration of the Parameter Space

A large inflationary tensor-to-scalar ratio $r_\mathrm{0.002} = 0.20^{+0.07}_{-0.05}$ is reported by the BICEP2 team based on their B-mode polarization detection, which is outside of the $95\%$ confidence level of the Planck best fit model. We explore several possible ways to reduce the tension between the two by considering a model in which $\alpha_\mathrm{s}$, $n_\mathrm{t}$, $n_\mathrm{s}$ and the neutrino parameters $N_\mathrm{eff}$ and $\Sigma m_\mathrm{\nu}$ are set as free parameters. Using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) technique to survey the complete parameter space with and without the BICEP2 data, we find that the resulting constraints on $r_\mathrm{0.002}$ are consistent with each other and the apparent tension seems to be relaxed. Further detailed investigations on those fittings suggest that $N_\mathrm{eff}$ probably plays the most important role in reducing the tension. We also find that the results obtained from fitting without adopting the consistency relation do not deviate much from the consistency relation. With available Planck, WMAP, BICEP2 and BAO datasets all together, we obtain $r_{0.002} = 0.14_{-0.11}^{+0.05}$, $n_\mathrm{t} = 0.35_{-0.47}^{+0.28}$, $n_\mathrm{s}=0.98_{-0.02}^{+0.02}$, and $\alpha_\mathrm{s}=-0.0086_{-0.0189}^{+0.0148}$; if the consistency relation is adopted, we get $r_{0.002} = 0.22_{-0.06}^{+0.05}$.

2MTF IV. A bulk flow measurement of the local Universe

Using the 2MASS near-infrared photometry and high signal-to-noise HI 21-cm data from the Arecibo, Green Bank, Nancay, and Parkes telescopes, we calculate the redshift-independent distances and peculiar velocities of 2,018 bright inclined spiral galaxies over the whole sky. This project is part of the 2MASS Tully-Fisher survey (2MTF), aiming to map the galaxy peculiar velocity field within 100 h^{-1}Mpc, with an all-sky coverage apart from Galactic latitudes |b|< 5 deg. A \chi^2 minimization method was adopted to analyze the Tully-Fisher peculiar velocity field in J, H and K bands, using a Gaussian filter. We combine information from the three wavebands, to provide bulk flow measurements of 310.9 +/- 33.9 km/s, 280.8 +/- 25.0 km/s, and 292.3 +/- 27.8 km/s at depths of 20 h^{-1}Mpc, 30 h^{-1}Mpc and 40 h^{-1}Mpc, respectively. Each of these bulk flow vectors points in a direction similar to those found by previous measurements. At each of the three depths, the bulk flow magnitude is consistent with predictions made by the $\Lambda$CDM model at the 1$\sigma$ level. The maximum likelihood and minimum variance method were also used to analyze the 2MTF samples, giving similar results.

Observed parity-odd CMB temperature bispectrum [Cross-Listing]

Parity-odd non-Gaussianities create a variety of temperature bispectra in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), defined in the domain: $\ell_1 + \ell_2 + \ell_3 = {\rm odd}$. These models are yet unconstrained in the literature, that so far focused exclusively on the more common parity-even scenarios. In this work, we provide the first experimental constraints on parity-odd bispectrum signals in WMAP 9-year temperature data, using a separable modal parity-odd estimator. Comparing theoretical bispectrum templates to the observed bispectrum, we place constraints on the so-called nonlineality parameters of parity-odd tensor non-Gaussianities predicted by several Early Universe models. Our technique also generates a model-independent, smoothed reconstruction of the bispectrum of the data for parity-odd configurations.

Observed parity-odd CMB temperature bispectrum [Cross-Listing]

Parity-odd non-Gaussianities create a variety of temperature bispectra in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), defined in the domain: $\ell_1 + \ell_2 + \ell_3 = {\rm odd}$. These models are yet unconstrained in the literature, that so far focused exclusively on the more common parity-even scenarios. In this work, we provide the first experimental constraints on parity-odd bispectrum signals in WMAP 9-year temperature data, using a separable modal parity-odd estimator. Comparing theoretical bispectrum templates to the observed bispectrum, we place constraints on the so-called nonlineality parameters of parity-odd tensor non-Gaussianities predicted by several Early Universe models. Our technique also generates a model-independent, smoothed reconstruction of the bispectrum of the data for parity-odd configurations.

Observed parity-odd CMB temperature bispectrum

Parity-odd non-Gaussianities create a variety of temperature bispectra in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), defined in the domain: $\ell_1 + \ell_2 + \ell_3 = {\rm odd}$. These models are yet unconstrained in the literature, that so far focused exclusively on the more common parity-even scenarios. In this work, we provide the first experimental constraints on parity-odd bispectrum signals in WMAP 9-year temperature data, using a separable modal parity-odd estimator. Comparing theoretical bispectrum templates to the observed bispectrum, we place constraints on the so-called nonlineality parameters of parity-odd tensor non-Gaussianities predicted by several Early Universe models. Our technique also generates a model-independent, smoothed reconstruction of the bispectrum of the data for parity-odd configurations.

The cosmic evolution of radio-AGN feedback to z=1

This paper presents the first measurement of the radio luminosity function of ‘jet-mode’ (radiatively-inefficient) radio-AGN out to z=1, in order to investigate the cosmic evolution of radio-AGN feedback. Eight radio source samples are combined to produce a catalogue of 211 radio-loud AGN with 0.5<z<1.0, which are spectroscopically classified into jet-mode and radiative-mode (radiatively-efficient) AGN classes. Comparing with large samples of local radio-AGN from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the cosmic evolution of the radio luminosity function of each radio-AGN class is independently derived. Radiative-mode radio-AGN show an order of magnitude increase in space density out to z~1 at all luminosities, consistent with these AGN being fuelled by cold gas. In contrast, the space density of jet-mode radio-AGN decreases with increasing redshift at low radio luminosities (L_1.4 < 1e24 W/Hz) but increases at higher radio luminosities. Simple models are developed to explain the observed evolution. In the best-fitting models, the characteristic space density of jet-mode AGN declines with redshift in accordance with the declining space density of massive quiescent galaxies, which fuel them via cooling of gas in their hot haloes. A time delay of 1.5-2 Gyr may be present between the quenching of star formation and the onset of jet-mode radio-AGN activity. The behaviour at higher radio luminosities can be explained either by an increasing characteristic luminosity of jet-mode radio-AGN activity with redshift (roughly as (1+z) cubed) or if the jet-mode radio-AGN population also includes some contribution of cold-gas-fuelled sources seen at a time when their accretion rate was low. Higher redshifts measurements would distinguish between these possibilities.

Infrared lessons for ultraviolet gravity: the case of massive gravity and Born-Infeld [Cross-Listing]

We generalize the ultraviolet sector of gravitation via a Born-Infeld action using lessons from massive gravity. The theory contains all of the elementary symmetric polynomials and is treated in the Palatini formalism. We show how the connection can be solved algebraically to be the Levi-Civita connection of an effective metric. The non-linearity of the algebraic equations yields several branches, one of which always reduces to General Relativity at low curvatures. We explore in detail a minimal version of the theory, for which we study solutions in the presence of a perfect fluid with special attention to the cosmological evolution. In vacuum we recover Ricci-flat solutions, but also an additional physical solution corresponding to an Einstein space. The existence of two physical branches remains for non-vacuum solutions and, in addition, the branch that connects to the Einstein space in vacuum is not very sensitive to the specific value of the energy density. For the branch that connects to the General Relativity limit we generically find three behaviours for the Hubble function depending on the equation of state of the fluid, namely: either there is a maximum value for the energy density that connects continuously with vacuum, or the energy density can be arbitrarily large but the Hubble function saturates and remains constant at high energy densities, or the energy density is unbounded and the Hubble function grows faster than in General Relativity. The second case is particularly interesting because it could offer an interesting inflationary epoch even in the presence of a dust component. Finally, we discuss the possibility of avoiding certain types of singularities within the minimal model.

Infrared lessons for ultraviolet gravity: the case of massive gravity and Born-Infeld [Cross-Listing]

We generalize the ultraviolet sector of gravitation via a Born-Infeld action using lessons from massive gravity. The theory contains all of the elementary symmetric polynomials and is treated in the Palatini formalism. We show how the connection can be solved algebraically to be the Levi-Civita connection of an effective metric. The non-linearity of the algebraic equations yields several branches, one of which always reduces to General Relativity at low curvatures. We explore in detail a minimal version of the theory, for which we study solutions in the presence of a perfect fluid with special attention to the cosmological evolution. In vacuum we recover Ricci-flat solutions, but also an additional physical solution corresponding to an Einstein space. The existence of two physical branches remains for non-vacuum solutions and, in addition, the branch that connects to the Einstein space in vacuum is not very sensitive to the specific value of the energy density. For the branch that connects to the General Relativity limit we generically find three behaviours for the Hubble function depending on the equation of state of the fluid, namely: either there is a maximum value for the energy density that connects continuously with vacuum, or the energy density can be arbitrarily large but the Hubble function saturates and remains constant at high energy densities, or the energy density is unbounded and the Hubble function grows faster than in General Relativity. The second case is particularly interesting because it could offer an interesting inflationary epoch even in the presence of a dust component. Finally, we discuss the possibility of avoiding certain types of singularities within the minimal model.

Infrared lessons for ultraviolet gravity: the case of massive gravity and Born-Infeld

We generalize the ultraviolet sector of gravitation via a Born-Infeld action using lessons from massive gravity. The theory contains all of the elementary symmetric polynomials and is treated in the Palatini formalism. We show how the connection can be solved algebraically to be the Levi-Civita connection of an effective metric. The non-linearity of the algebraic equations yields several branches, one of which always reduces to General Relativity at low curvatures. We explore in detail a minimal version of the theory, for which we study solutions in the presence of a perfect fluid with special attention to the cosmological evolution. In vacuum we recover Ricci-flat solutions, but also an additional physical solution corresponding to an Einstein space. The existence of two physical branches remains for non-vacuum solutions and, in addition, the branch that connects to the Einstein space in vacuum is not very sensitive to the specific value of the energy density. For the branch that connects to the General Relativity limit we generically find three behaviours for the Hubble function depending on the equation of state of the fluid, namely: either there is a maximum value for the energy density that connects continuously with vacuum, or the energy density can be arbitrarily large but the Hubble function saturates and remains constant at high energy densities, or the energy density is unbounded and the Hubble function grows faster than in General Relativity. The second case is particularly interesting because it could offer an interesting inflationary epoch even in the presence of a dust component. Finally, we discuss the possibility of avoiding certain types of singularities within the minimal model.

Updated reduced CMB data and constraints on cosmological parameters

We obtain the reduced CMB data $\{l_A, R, z_*\}$ from WMAP9, WMAP9+BICEP2, Planck+WP and Planck+WP+BICEP2 for the $\Lambda$CDM and $w$CDM models with or without spatial curvature. We then use these reduced CMB data in combination with low-redshift observations to put constraints on cosmological parameters. We find that including BICEP2 results in a higher value of the Hubble constant especially when the equation of state of dark energy and curvature are allowed to vary. For the $\Lambda$CDM model with curvature, the estimate of the Hubble constant with Planck+WP+Lensing is inconsistent with the one derived from Planck+WP+BICEP at about 1.3 $\sigma$ confidence level.

Updated reduced CMB data and constraints on cosmological parameters [Cross-Listing]

We obtain the reduced CMB data $\{l_A, R, z_*\}$ from WMAP9, WMAP9+BICEP2, Planck+WP and Planck+WP+BICEP2 for the $\Lambda$CDM and $w$CDM models with or without spatial curvature. We then use these reduced CMB data in combination with low-redshift observations to put constraints on cosmological parameters. We find that including BICEP2 results in a higher value of the Hubble constant especially when the equation of state of dark energy and curvature are allowed to vary. For the $\Lambda$CDM model with curvature, the estimate of the Hubble constant with Planck+WP+Lensing is inconsistent with the one derived from Planck+WP+BICEP at about 1.3 $\sigma$ confidence level.

Gurzadyan's Problem 5 and improvement of softenings for cosmological simulations using the PP method

This Letter is devoted to different modifications of two standard softenings of the gravitational attraction, which are commonly used in cosmological simulations based on the particle-particle (PP) method, and their comparison. It is demonstrated that some of the proposed alternatives lead to almost the same accuracy as in the case of the pure Newtonian interaction, even despite the fact that the force resolution is allowed to equal half the minimum interparticle distance. The revealed way of precision improvement gives an opportunity to succeed in solving Gurzadyan’s Problem 5 and bring modern computer codes up to a higher standard.

Gurzadyan's Problem 5 and improvement of softenings for cosmological simulations using the PP method [Cross-Listing]

This Letter is devoted to different modifications of two standard softenings of the gravitational attraction, which are commonly used in cosmological simulations based on the particle-particle (PP) method, and their comparison. It is demonstrated that some of the proposed alternatives lead to almost the same accuracy as in the case of the pure Newtonian interaction, even despite the fact that the force resolution is allowed to equal half the minimum interparticle distance. The revealed way of precision improvement gives an opportunity to succeed in solving Gurzadyan’s Problem 5 and bring modern computer codes up to a higher standard.

Dark matter in ghost-free bigravity theory: From a galaxy scale to the universe

We study the origin of dark matter based on the ghost-free bigravity theory with twin matter fluids. The present cosmic acceleration can be explained by the existence of graviton mass, while dark matter is required in several cosmological situations [the galactic missing mass, the cosmic structure formation and the standard big-bang scenario (the cosmological nucleosynthesis vs the CMB observation)]. Assuming that the Compton wavelength of the massive graviton is shorter than a galactic scale, we show the bigravity theory can explain dark matter by twin matter fluid as well as the cosmic acceleration by tuning appropriate coupling constants.

Dark matter in ghost-free bigravity theory: From a galaxy scale to the universe [Cross-Listing]

We study the origin of dark matter based on the ghost-free bigravity theory with twin matter fluids. The present cosmic acceleration can be explained by the existence of graviton mass, while dark matter is required in several cosmological situations [the galactic missing mass, the cosmic structure formation and the standard big-bang scenario (the cosmological nucleosynthesis vs the CMB observation)]. Assuming that the Compton wavelength of the massive graviton is shorter than a galactic scale, we show the bigravity theory can explain dark matter by twin matter fluid as well as the cosmic acceleration by tuning appropriate coupling constants.

Dark matter in ghost-free bigravity theory: From a galaxy scale to the universe [Cross-Listing]

We study the origin of dark matter based on the ghost-free bigravity theory with twin matter fluids. The present cosmic acceleration can be explained by the existence of graviton mass, while dark matter is required in several cosmological situations [the galactic missing mass, the cosmic structure formation and the standard big-bang scenario (the cosmological nucleosynthesis vs the CMB observation)]. Assuming that the Compton wavelength of the massive graviton is shorter than a galactic scale, we show the bigravity theory can explain dark matter by twin matter fluid as well as the cosmic acceleration by tuning appropriate coupling constants.

Hawking Evaporation is Inconsistent with a Classical Event Horizon at $r=2M$

A simple classical consideration of black hole formation and evaporation times as measured by an observer at infinity demonstrates that an infall cutoff outside the event horizon of a black hole must be imposed in order for the formation time of a black hole event horizon to not exceed its evaporation time. We explore this paradox quantitatively and examine possible cutoff scales and their relation to the Planck scale. Our analysis suggests several different possibilities, none of which can be resolved classically and all of which require new physics associated with even large black holes and macroscopic event horizons:(1) an event horizon never forms, for example due to radiation during collapse (resolving the information loss problem), (2) and/or quantum effects may affect space-time near an event horizon in ways which alter infall as well as black hole evaporation itself.

Hawking Evaporation is Inconsistent with a Classical Event Horizon at $r=2M$ [Cross-Listing]

A simple classical consideration of black hole formation and evaporation times as measured by an observer at infinity demonstrates that an infall cutoff outside the event horizon of a black hole must be imposed in order for the formation time of a black hole event horizon to not exceed its evaporation time. We explore this paradox quantitatively and examine possible cutoff scales and their relation to the Planck scale. Our analysis suggests several different possibilities, none of which can be resolved classically and all of which require new physics associated with even large black holes and macroscopic event horizons:(1) an event horizon never forms, for example due to radiation during collapse (resolving the information loss problem), (2) and/or quantum effects may affect space-time near an event horizon in ways which alter infall as well as black hole evaporation itself.

Hawking Evaporation is Inconsistent with a Classical Event Horizon at $r=2M$ [Cross-Listing]

A simple classical consideration of black hole formation and evaporation times as measured by an observer at infinity demonstrates that an infall cutoff outside the event horizon of a black hole must be imposed in order for the formation time of a black hole event horizon to not exceed its evaporation time. We explore this paradox quantitatively and examine possible cutoff scales and their relation to the Planck scale. Our analysis suggests several different possibilities, none of which can be resolved classically and all of which require new physics associated with even large black holes and macroscopic event horizons:(1) an event horizon never forms, for example due to radiation during collapse (resolving the information loss problem), (2) and/or quantum effects may affect space-time near an event horizon in ways which alter infall as well as black hole evaporation itself.

Hawking Evaporation is Inconsistent with a Classical Event Horizon at $r=2M$ [Cross-Listing]

A simple classical consideration of black hole formation and evaporation times as measured by an observer at infinity demonstrates that an infall cutoff outside the event horizon of a black hole must be imposed in order for the formation time of a black hole event horizon to not exceed its evaporation time. We explore this paradox quantitatively and examine possible cutoff scales and their relation to the Planck scale. Our analysis suggests several different possibilities, none of which can be resolved classically and all of which require new physics associated with even large black holes and macroscopic event horizons:(1) an event horizon never forms, for example due to radiation during collapse (resolving the information loss problem), (2) and/or quantum effects may affect space-time near an event horizon in ways which alter infall as well as black hole evaporation itself.

Low primordial information content in the Milky Way with warm dark matter

We speculatively examine some issues related to the information content of primordial patches that collapse to form galaxies like the Milky Way. If the dark matter is warm, or if some other process dramatically suppressed small-scale density fluctuations, then the patch that formed the Milky Way would have had low primordial information content. Depending on assumptions about the accuracy with which the initial conditions are specified, the patch would have contained only several billion independent information-carrying `pixels’ if the warm-dark-matter (WDM) particle had a mass of 1 keV. This number of `pixels’ is much less than even the number of stars in the Milky Way. Like other recent observational tests, this would provide an argument disfavoring such a low mass, under two strong assumptions: (1) a high degree of structure in the Milky Way cannot arise from very smooth initial conditions, and (2) non-primordial information/randomness sources are negligible. An example of a non-primordial information source is a central black hole with an accretion disk and jets, which in principle could broadcast small-scale quantum fluctuations throughout the galaxy. This brings up a question, and even, in principle, a test (if the dark matter is warm) about the scale at which structure in the Galaxy is entirely deterministic from the initial conditions.

Solar neutrino physics with low-threshold dark matter detectors [Cross-Listing]

Dark matter detectors will soon be sensitive to Solar neutrinos via two distinct channels: coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering and neutrino electron elastic scattering. We establish an analysis method for extracting Solar model properties and neutrino properties from these measurements, including the possible effects of sterile neutrinos which have been hinted at by some reactor experiments and cosmological measurements. Even including sterile neutrinos, through the coherent scattering channel a 1 ton-year exposure with a low-threshold Germanium detector could improve on the current measurement of the normalization of the $^8$B Solar neutrino flux down to 3% or less. Combining with the elastic scattering data will provide constraints on both the high and low energy survival probability, and will improve on the uncertainty on the active-to-sterile mixing angle by a factor of two. This sensitivity to active-to-sterile transitions is competitive and complementary to forthcoming dedicated short baseline sterile neutrino searches with nuclear decays.

Solar neutrino physics with low-threshold dark matter detectors

Dark matter detectors will soon be sensitive to Solar neutrinos via two distinct channels: coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering and neutrino electron elastic scattering. We establish an analysis method for extracting Solar model properties and neutrino properties from these measurements, including the possible effects of sterile neutrinos which have been hinted at by some reactor experiments and cosmological measurements. Even including sterile neutrinos, through the coherent scattering channel a 1 ton-year exposure with a low-threshold Germanium detector could improve on the current measurement of the normalization of the $^8$B Solar neutrino flux down to 3% or less. Combining with the elastic scattering data will provide constraints on both the high and low energy survival probability, and will improve on the uncertainty on the active-to-sterile mixing angle by a factor of two. This sensitivity to active-to-sterile transitions is competitive and complementary to forthcoming dedicated short baseline sterile neutrino searches with nuclear decays.

Background model systematics for the Fermi GeV excess [Cross-Listing]

The possible gamma-ray excess in the inner Galaxy and the Galactic center (GC) suggested by Fermi-LAT observations has triggered a large number of studies. It has been interpreted as a variety of different phenomena such as a signal from WIMP dark matter annihilation, gamma-ray emission from a population of millisecond pulsars, or emission from cosmic rays injected in a sequence of burst-like events or continuously at the GC. We present the first comprehensive study of model systematics coming from the Galactic diffuse emission in the inner part of our Galaxy and their impact on the inferred properties of the excess emission at Galactic latitudes $2^\circ<|b|<20^\circ$ and 300 MeV to 500 GeV. We study both theoretical and empirical model systematics, which we deduce from a large range of Galactic diffuse emission models and a principal component analysis of residuals in numerous test regions along the Galactic plane. We show that the hypothesis of an extended spherical excess emission with a uniform energy spectrum is compatible with the Fermi-LAT data in our region of interest at $95\%$ CL. Assuming that this excess is the extended counterpart of the one seen in the inner few degrees of the Galaxy, we derive a lower limit of $10.0^\circ$ ($95\%$ CL) on its extension away from the GC. We show that, in light of the large correlated uncertainties that affect the subtraction of the Galactic diffuse emission in the relevant regions, the energy spectrum of the excess is equally compatible with both a simple broken power-law of break energy $2.1\pm0.2$ GeV, and with spectra predicted by the self-annihilation of dark matter, implying in the case of $\bar{b}b$ final states a dark matter mass of $49^{+6.4}_{-5.4}$ GeV.

Background model systematics for the Fermi GeV excess

The possible gamma-ray excess in the inner Galaxy and the Galactic center (GC) suggested by Fermi-LAT observations has triggered a large number of studies. It has been interpreted as a variety of different phenomena such as a signal from WIMP dark matter annihilation, gamma-ray emission from a population of millisecond pulsars, or emission from cosmic rays injected in a sequence of burst-like events or continuously at the GC. We present the first comprehensive study of model systematics coming from the Galactic diffuse emission in the inner part of our Galaxy and their impact on the inferred properties of the excess emission at Galactic latitudes $2^\circ<|b|<20^\circ$ and 300 MeV to 500 GeV. We study both theoretical and empirical model systematics, which we deduce from a large range of Galactic diffuse emission models and a principal component analysis of residuals in numerous test regions along the Galactic plane. We show that the hypothesis of an extended spherical excess emission with a uniform energy spectrum is compatible with the Fermi-LAT data in our region of interest at $95\%$ CL. Assuming that this excess is the extended counterpart of the one seen in the inner few degrees of the Galaxy, we derive a lower limit of $10.0^\circ$ ($95\%$ CL) on its extension away from the GC. We show that, in light of the large correlated uncertainties that affect the subtraction of the Galactic diffuse emission in the relevant regions, the energy spectrum of the excess is equally compatible with both a simple broken power-law of break energy $2.1\pm0.2$ GeV, and with spectra predicted by the self-annihilation of dark matter, implying in the case of $\bar{b}b$ final states a dark matter mass of $49^{+6.4}_{-5.4}$ GeV.

Generalized multi-plane gravitational lensing: time delays, recursive lens equation, and the mass-sheet transformation

We consider several aspects of the generalized multi-plane gravitational lens theory, in which light rays from a distant source are affected by several main deflectors, and in addition by the tidal gravitational field of the large-scale matter distribution in the Universe when propagating between the main deflectors. Specifically, we derive a simple expression for the time-delay function in this case, making use of the general formalism for treating light propagation in inhomogeneous spacetimes which leads to the characterization of distance matrices between main lens planes. Applying Fermat’s principle, an alternative form of the corresponding lens equation is derived, which connects the impact vectors in three consecutive main lens planes, and we show that this form of the lens equation is equivalent to the more standard one. For this, some general relations for cosmological distance matrices are derived. The generalized multi-plane lens situation admits a generalized mass-sheet transformation, which corresponds to uniform isotropic scaling in each lens plane, a corresponding scaling of the deflection angle, and the addition of a tidal matrix (mass sheet plus external shear) to each main lens. We show that the time delay for sources in all lens planes scale with the same factor under this generalized mass-sheet transformation, thus precluding the use of time-delay ratios to break the mass-sheet transformation.

An Alternative to Particle Dark Matter [Cross-Listing]

We propose an alternative to particle dark matter that borrows ingredients of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) while adding new key components. The first new feature is a dark matter fluid, in the form of a scalar field with small equation of state and sound speed. This component is critical in reproducing the success of cold dark matter for the expansion history and the growth of linear perturbations, but does not cluster significantly on non-linear scales. Instead, the missing mass problem on non-linear scales is addressed by a modification of the gravitational force law. The force law approximates MOND at large and intermediate accelerations, and therefore reproduces the empirical success of MOND at fitting galactic rotation curves. At ultra-low accelerations, the force law reverts to an inverse-square-law, albeit with a larger Newton’s constant. This latter regime is important in galaxy clusters and is consistent with their observed isothermal profiles. We present an explicit relativistic theory in terms of two scalar fields. The first scalar field is governed by a Dirac-Born-Infeld action and behaves as a dark matter fluid on large scales. The second scalar field also has single-derivative interactions and mediates a fifth force that modifies gravity on non-linear scales. Both scalars are coupled to matter via an effective metric that depends locally on the fields. The form of this effective metric implies the equality of the two scalar gravitational potentials, which ensures that lensing and dynamical mass estimates agree.

An Alternative to Particle Dark Matter [Cross-Listing]

We propose an alternative to particle dark matter that borrows ingredients of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) while adding new key components. The first new feature is a dark matter fluid, in the form of a scalar field with small equation of state and sound speed. This component is critical in reproducing the success of cold dark matter for the expansion history and the growth of linear perturbations, but does not cluster significantly on non-linear scales. Instead, the missing mass problem on non-linear scales is addressed by a modification of the gravitational force law. The force law approximates MOND at large and intermediate accelerations, and therefore reproduces the empirical success of MOND at fitting galactic rotation curves. At ultra-low accelerations, the force law reverts to an inverse-square-law, albeit with a larger Newton’s constant. This latter regime is important in galaxy clusters and is consistent with their observed isothermal profiles. We present an explicit relativistic theory in terms of two scalar fields. The first scalar field is governed by a Dirac-Born-Infeld action and behaves as a dark matter fluid on large scales. The second scalar field also has single-derivative interactions and mediates a fifth force that modifies gravity on non-linear scales. Both scalars are coupled to matter via an effective metric that depends locally on the fields. The form of this effective metric implies the equality of the two scalar gravitational potentials, which ensures that lensing and dynamical mass estimates agree.

An Alternative to Particle Dark Matter

We propose an alternative to particle dark matter that borrows ingredients of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) while adding new key components. The first new feature is a dark matter fluid, in the form of a scalar field with small equation of state and sound speed. This component is critical in reproducing the success of cold dark matter for the expansion history and the growth of linear perturbations, but does not cluster significantly on non-linear scales. Instead, the missing mass problem on non-linear scales is addressed by a modification of the gravitational force law. The force law approximates MOND at large and intermediate accelerations, and therefore reproduces the empirical success of MOND at fitting galactic rotation curves. At ultra-low accelerations, the force law reverts to an inverse-square-law, albeit with a larger Newton’s constant. This latter regime is important in galaxy clusters and is consistent with their observed isothermal profiles. We present an explicit relativistic theory in terms of two scalar fields. The first scalar field is governed by a Dirac-Born-Infeld action and behaves as a dark matter fluid on large scales. The second scalar field also has single-derivative interactions and mediates a fifth force that modifies gravity on non-linear scales. Both scalars are coupled to matter via an effective metric that depends locally on the fields. The form of this effective metric implies the equality of the two scalar gravitational potentials, which ensures that lensing and dynamical mass estimates agree.

An Alternative to Particle Dark Matter [Cross-Listing]

We propose an alternative to particle dark matter that borrows ingredients of MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) while adding new key components. The first new feature is a dark matter fluid, in the form of a scalar field with small equation of state and sound speed. This component is critical in reproducing the success of cold dark matter for the expansion history and the growth of linear perturbations, but does not cluster significantly on non-linear scales. Instead, the missing mass problem on non-linear scales is addressed by a modification of the gravitational force law. The force law approximates MOND at large and intermediate accelerations, and therefore reproduces the empirical success of MOND at fitting galactic rotation curves. At ultra-low accelerations, the force law reverts to an inverse-square-law, albeit with a larger Newton’s constant. This latter regime is important in galaxy clusters and is consistent with their observed isothermal profiles. We present an explicit relativistic theory in terms of two scalar fields. The first scalar field is governed by a Dirac-Born-Infeld action and behaves as a dark matter fluid on large scales. The second scalar field also has single-derivative interactions and mediates a fifth force that modifies gravity on non-linear scales. Both scalars are coupled to matter via an effective metric that depends locally on the fields. The form of this effective metric implies the equality of the two scalar gravitational potentials, which ensures that lensing and dynamical mass estimates agree.

Top-Goldstone coupling spoils renormalization of Higgs inflation [Cross-Listing]

We examine renormalization of Higgs inflation in the context of the full Standard Model. In the fermionic sector of the theory there is a parametrically large top-Goldstone coupling which prevents renormalization of the theory. Using a simplified model with a global U(1) symmetry, a Higgs and a fermion, we show that the one-loop contribution to 4-Goldstone scattering cannot be absorbed in any tree level terms, and hence forbids a consistent renormalization of the theory. Our results apply for large non-minimal Higgs-gravity coupling in the large field regime, and indicate that Higgs inflation is not a predictive theory.

Top-Goldstone coupling spoils renormalization of Higgs inflation [Cross-Listing]

We examine renormalization of Higgs inflation in the context of the full Standard Model. In the fermionic sector of the theory there is a parametrically large top-Goldstone coupling which prevents renormalization of the theory. Using a simplified model with a global U(1) symmetry, a Higgs and a fermion, we show that the one-loop contribution to 4-Goldstone scattering cannot be absorbed in any tree level terms, and hence forbids a consistent renormalization of the theory. Our results apply for large non-minimal Higgs-gravity coupling in the large field regime, and indicate that Higgs inflation is not a predictive theory.

Top-Goldstone coupling spoils renormalization of Higgs inflation

We examine renormalization of Higgs inflation in the context of the full Standard Model. In the fermionic sector of the theory there is a parametrically large top-Goldstone coupling which prevents renormalization of the theory. Using a simplified model with a global U(1) symmetry, a Higgs and a fermion, we show that the one-loop contribution to 4-Goldstone scattering cannot be absorbed in any tree level terms, and hence forbids a consistent renormalization of the theory. Our results apply for large non-minimal Higgs-gravity coupling in the large field regime, and indicate that Higgs inflation is not a predictive theory.

3D Weak Gravitational Lensing of the CMB and Galaxies

In this paper we present a power spectrum formalism that combines the full three-dimensional information from the galaxy ellipticity field, with information from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We include in this approach galaxy cosmic shear and galaxy intrinsic alignments, CMB deflection, CMB temperature and CMB polarisation data; including the inter-datum power spectra between all quantities. We apply this to forecasting cosmological parameter errors for CMB and imaging surveys and show that the additional covariance between the CMB and ellipticity measurements can improve galaxy intrinsic alignment measurements by a factor of two, and dark energy equation of state measurements by thirty percent. We present predictions for Euclid-like, KiDS, ACTPoL, and CoRE-like experiments and show that the combination of cosmic shear and the CMB, from Euclid-like and CoRE-like experiments, can measure the sum of neutrino masses with an error of 0.02 eV, and the dark energy equation of state with an error on w0 of less than 0.01.

A new determination of the primordial He abundance using the HeI 10830A emission line: cosmological implications

We present near-infrared spectroscopic observations of the high-intensity HeI 10830 emission line in 45 low-metallicity HII regions. We combined these NIR data with spectroscopic data in the optical range to derive the primordial He abundance. The use of the HeI 10830A line, the intensity of which is very sensitive to the density of the HII region, greatly improves the determination of the physical conditions in the He^+ zone. This results in a considerably tighter Y – O/H linear regression compared to all previous studies. We extracted a final sample of 28 HII regions with Hbeta equivalent width EW(Hbeta)>150A, excitation parameter O^2+/O>0.8, and with helium mass fraction Y derived with an accuracy better than 3%. With this final sample we derived a primordial He mass fraction Yp = 0.2551+/-0.0022. The derived value of Yp is higher than the one predicted by the standard big bang nucleosynthesis (SBBN) model. Using our derived Yp together with D/H = (2.53+/-0.04)x10^-5, and the chi^2 technique, we found that the best agreement between these light element abundances is achieved in a cosmological model with a baryon mass density Omega_b h^2 = 0.0240+/-0.0017 (68% CL), +/-0.0028 (95.4% CL), +/-0.0034 (99% CL) and an effective number of neutrino species Neff = 3.58+/-0.25 (68% CL), +/-0.40 (95.4% CL), +/-0.50 (99% CL). A non-standard value of Neff is preferred at the 99% CL, implying the possible existence of additional types of neutrino species.

Hubble Frontier Fields First Complete Cluster Data: Faint Galaxies at $z\sim 5-10$ for UV Luminosity Functions and Cosmic Reionization

We present the comprehensive analyses of faint dropout galaxies up to $z\sim 10$ with the first full-depth data set of Abell 2744 lensing cluster and parallel fields completed by the Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) program in July 2014. We identify $54$ dropouts at $z \sim 5-10$ in the HFF fields, and strikingly enlarge the size of $z\sim 9$ galaxy sample obtained to date. Although the number of highly magnified ($\mu \sim 10$) galaxies is small due to the tiny survey volume of strong lensing, our study reaches the galaxies’ intrinsic luminosities comparable to the deepest-field HUDF studies. We derive UV luminosity functions with these faint dropouts, carefully evaluating the combination of observational incompleteness and lensing effects in the image plane by intensive simulations including magnification, distortion, and multiplication of images, with the evaluations of mass model dependences. Our results confirm that the faint-end slope, $\alpha$, is as steep as $-2$ at $z \sim 6-8$, and significantly strengthen the evidence of the rapid decrease of UV luminosity densities, $\rho_{\rm UV}$, at $z>8$ from the large $z\sim 9$ sample. We examine whether the rapid $\rho_{\rm UV}$ decrease trend can reconcile with the large Thomson scattering optical depth, $\tau_{\rm e}$, measured by CMB experiments based on the ionization equation calculations allowing a large space of free parameters such as average ionizing photon escape fraction and stellar-population dependent conversion factor. No parameter set can reproduce both the rapid $\rho_{\rm UV}$ decrease and the large $\tau_{\rm e}$. It is possible that the $\rho_{\rm UV}$ decrease moderates at $z\gtrsim 11$, that the free parameters significantly evolve towards high-$z$, or that there exist additional sources of reionization such as X-ray binaries and faint AGNs.

A Higgs Mechanism for Vector Galileons [Cross-Listing]

Vector theories with non-linear derivative self-interactions that break gauge symmetries have been shown to have interesting cosmological applications. In this paper we introduce a way to spontaneously break the gauge symmetry and construct these theories via a Higgs mechanism. In addition to the purely gauge field interactions, our method generates new ghost-free scalar-vector interactions between the Higgs field and the gauge boson. We show how these additional terms are found to reduce, in a suitable decoupling limit, to scalar bi-Galileon interactions between the Higgs field and Goldstone bosons. Our formalism is first developed in the context of abelian symmetry, which allows us to connect with earlier work on the extension of the Proca action. We then show how this formalism is straightforwardly generalised to generate theories with non-abelian symmetry.

 

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