Posts Tagged probability

Recent Postings from probability

On the abundance of extraterrestrial life after the Kepler mission

The data recently accumulated by the Kepler mission have demonstrated that small planets are quite common and that a significant fraction of all stars may have an Earth-like planet within their Habitable Zone. These results are combined with a Drake-equation formalism to derive the space density of biotic planets as a function of the relatively modest uncertainty in the astronomical data and of the (yet unknown) probability for the evolution of biotic life, Fb. I suggest that Fb may be estimated by future spectral observations of exoplanet biomarkers. If Fb is in the range 0.001 — 1 then a biotic planet may be expected within 10 — 100 light years from Earth. Extending the biotic results to advanced life I derive expressions for the distance to putative civilizations in terms of two additional Drake parameters – the probability for evolution of a civilization, Fc, and its average longevity. For instance, assuming optimistic probability values (Fb Fc 1) and a broadcasting longevity of a few thousand years, the likely distance to the nearest civilizations detectable by SETI is of the order of a few thousand light years. The probability of detecting intelligent signals with present and future radio telescopes is calculated as a function of the Drake parameters. Finally, I describe how the detection of intelligent signals would constrain the Drake parameters.

BGLS: A Bayesian formalism for the generalised Lomb-Scargle periodogram

Context. Frequency analyses are very important in astronomy today, not least in the ever-growing field of exoplanets, where short-period signals in stellar radial velocity data are investigated. Periodograms are the main (and powerful) tools for this purpose. However, recovering the correct frequencies and assessing the probability of each frequency is not straightforward. Aims. We provide a formalism that is easy to implement in a code, to describe a Bayesian periodogram that includes weights and a constant offset in the data. The relative probability between peaks can be easily calculated with this formalism. We discuss the differences and agreements between the various periodogram formalisms with simulated examples. Methods. We used the Bayesian probability theory to describe the probability that a full sine function (including weights derived from the errors on the data values and a constant offset) with a specific frequency is present in the data. Results. From the expression for our Baysian generalised Lomb-Scargle periodogram (BGLS), we can easily recover the expression for the non-Bayesian version. In the simulated examples we show that this new formalism recovers the underlying periods better than previous versions. A Python-based code is available for the community.

Varying constants quantum cosmology [Cross-Listing]

We discuss minisuperspace models within the framework of varying physical constants theories including $\Lambda$-term. In particular, we consider the varying speed of light (VSL) theory and varying gravitational constant theory (VG) using the specific ans\"atze for the variability of constants: $c(a) = c_0 a^n$ and $G(a)=G_0 a^q$. We find that most of the varying $c$ and $G$ minisuperspace potentials are of the tunneling type which allows to use WKB approximation of quantum mechanics. Using this method we show that the probability of tunneling of the universe "from nothing" ($a=0)$ to a Friedmann geometry with the scale factor $a_t$ is large for growing $c$ models and is strongly suppressed for diminishing $c$ models. As for $G$ varying, the probability of tunneling is large for $G$ diminishing, while it is small for $G$ increasing. In general, both varying $c$ and $G$ change the probability of tunneling in comparison to the standard matter content (cosmological term, dust, radiation) universe models.

Varying constants quantum cosmology

We discuss minisuperspace models within the framework of varying physical constants theories including $\Lambda$-term. In particular, we consider the varying speed of light (VSL) theory and varying gravitational constant theory (VG) using the specific ans\"atze for the variability of constants: $c(a) = c_0 a^n$ and $G(a)=G_0 a^q$. We find that most of the varying $c$ and $G$ minisuperspace potentials are of the tunneling type which allows to use WKB approximation of quantum mechanics. Using this method we show that the probability of tunneling of the universe "from nothing" ($a=0)$ to a Friedmann geometry with the scale factor $a_t$ is large for growing $c$ models and is strongly suppressed for diminishing $c$ models. As for $G$ varying, the probability of tunneling is large for $G$ diminishing, while it is small for $G$ increasing. In general, both varying $c$ and $G$ change the probability of tunneling in comparison to the standard matter content (cosmological term, dust, radiation) universe models.

Varying constants quantum cosmology [Cross-Listing]

We discuss minisuperspace models within the framework of varying physical constants theories including $\Lambda$-term. In particular, we consider the varying speed of light (VSL) theory and varying gravitational constant theory (VG) using the specific ans\"atze for the variability of constants: $c(a) = c_0 a^n$ and $G(a)=G_0 a^q$. We find that most of the varying $c$ and $G$ minisuperspace potentials are of the tunneling type which allows to use WKB approximation of quantum mechanics. Using this method we show that the probability of tunneling of the universe "from nothing" ($a=0)$ to a Friedmann geometry with the scale factor $a_t$ is large for growing $c$ models and is strongly suppressed for diminishing $c$ models. As for $G$ varying, the probability of tunneling is large for $G$ diminishing, while it is small for $G$ increasing. In general, both varying $c$ and $G$ change the probability of tunneling in comparison to the standard matter content (cosmological term, dust, radiation) universe models.

The effect of uu diquark suppression in proton splitting in Monte Carlo event generators

Monte Carlo event generators assume that protons split into (uu)-diquarks and d-quarks with a probability of 1/3 in strong interactions. It is shown in this paper that using a value of 1/6 for the probability allows one to describe at a semi-quantitative level the NA49 Collaboration data for $p+p\rightarrow p+X$ reactions at 158 GeV/c. The Fritiof (FTF) model of Geant4 was used to simulate the reactions. The reduced weight of the (uu)-diquarks in protons is expected in the instanton model.

What is the probability that direct detection experiments have observed Dark Matter?

In Dark Matter direct detection we are facing the situation of some experiments reporting positive signals which are in conflict with limits from other experiments. Such conclusions are subject to large uncertainties introduced by the poorly known local Dark Matter distribution. We present a method to calculate an upper bound on the joint probability of obtaining the outcome of two potentially conflicting experiments under the assumption that the Dark Matter hypothesis is correct, but completely independent of assumptions about the Dark Matter distribution. In this way we can quantify the compatibility of two experiments in an astrophysics independent way. We illustrate our method by testing the compatibility of the hints reported by DAMA and CDMS-Si with the limits from the LUX and SuperCDMS experiments. The method does not require Monte Carlo simulations but is mostly based on using Poisson statistics. In order to deal with signals of few events we introduce the so-called "signal length" to take into account energy information without the need of binning data. The signal length method provides a simple way to calculate the probability to obtain a given experimental outcome under a specified Dark Matter and background hypothesis.

What is the probability that direct detection experiments have observed Dark Matter? [Cross-Listing]

In Dark Matter direct detection we are facing the situation of some experiments reporting positive signals which are in conflict with limits from other experiments. Such conclusions are subject to large uncertainties introduced by the poorly known local Dark Matter distribution. We present a method to calculate an upper bound on the joint probability of obtaining the outcome of two potentially conflicting experiments under the assumption that the Dark Matter hypothesis is correct, but completely independent of assumptions about the Dark Matter distribution. In this way we can quantify the compatibility of two experiments in an astrophysics independent way. We illustrate our method by testing the compatibility of the hints reported by DAMA and CDMS-Si with the limits from the LUX and SuperCDMS experiments. The method does not require Monte Carlo simulations but is mostly based on using Poisson statistics. In order to deal with signals of few events we introduce the so-called "signal length" to take into account energy information without the need of binning data. The signal length method provides a simple way to calculate the probability to obtain a given experimental outcome under a specified Dark Matter and background hypothesis.

What is the probability that direct detection experiments have observed Dark Matter? [Replacement]

In Dark Matter direct detection we are facing the situation of some experiments reporting positive signals which are in conflict with limits from other experiments. Such conclusions are subject to large uncertainties introduced by the poorly known local Dark Matter distribution. We present a method to calculate an upper bound on the joint probability of obtaining the outcome of two potentially conflicting experiments under the assumption that the Dark Matter hypothesis is correct, but completely independent of assumptions about the Dark Matter distribution. In this way we can quantify the compatibility of two experiments in an astrophysics independent way. We illustrate our method by testing the compatibility of the hints reported by DAMA and CDMS-Si with the limits from the LUX and SuperCDMS experiments. The method does not require Monte Carlo simulations but is mostly based on using Poisson statistics. In order to deal with signals of few events we introduce the so-called "signal length" to take into account energy information. The signal length method provides a simple way to calculate the probability to obtain a given experimental outcome under a specified Dark Matter and background hypothesis.

What is the probability that direct detection experiments have observed Dark Matter? [Replacement]

In Dark Matter direct detection we are facing the situation of some experiments reporting positive signals which are in conflict with limits from other experiments. Such conclusions are subject to large uncertainties introduced by the poorly known local Dark Matter distribution. We present a method to calculate an upper bound on the joint probability of obtaining the outcome of two potentially conflicting experiments under the assumption that the Dark Matter hypothesis is correct, but completely independent of assumptions about the Dark Matter distribution. In this way we can quantify the compatibility of two experiments in an astrophysics independent way. We illustrate our method by testing the compatibility of the hints reported by DAMA and CDMS-Si with the limits from the LUX and SuperCDMS experiments. The method does not require Monte Carlo simulations but is mostly based on using Poisson statistics. In order to deal with signals of few events we introduce the so-called "signal length" to take into account energy information. The signal length method provides a simple way to calculate the probability to obtain a given experimental outcome under a specified Dark Matter and background hypothesis.

Photon-ALP conversions inside AGN

An intriguing possibility to partially circumvent extragalactic background light (EBL) absorption in very-high-energy (VHE) observations of blazars is that photons convert into axion-like particles (ALPs) $\gamma \to a$ inside or close to a blazar and reconvert into photons $a \to \gamma$ in the Milky Way magnetic field. This idea has been put forward in 2008 and has attracted a considerable interest. However, while the probability for the back-conversion $a \to \gamma$ has been computed in detail (using the maps of the Galatic magnetic field), regretfully no realistic estimate of the probability for the conversion $\gamma \to a$ inside a blazar has been performed, in spite of the fact that the present-day knowledge allows this task to be accomplished in a reliable fashion. We present a detailed calculation that fills this gap, considering both types of blazars, namely BL Lac objects (BL Lacs) and flat spectrum radio quasars (FSRQ) with their specific structural and environmental properties. We also include the host elliptical galaxy into account. Our somewhat surprising results show that the conversion probability in BL Lacs is strongly dependent on the source parameters — like the position of the emission region along the jet and the strength of the magnetic field therein — making it effectivelly unpredictable. On the other hand, the lobes at the termination of FSRQ jets lead to an effective "equipartition" between photons and ALPs due to its chaotic nature, thereby allowing us to make a clear-cut prediction. These results are quite important in view of the planned VHE detectors like the CTA, HAWK and HiSCORE.

On the role of GRBs on life extinction in the Universe

As a copious source of gamma-rays, a nearby Galactic Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) can be a threat to life. Using recent determinations of the rate of GRBs, their luminosity function and properties of their host galaxies, we estimate the probability that a life-threatening (lethal) GRB would take place. Amongst the different kinds of GRBs, long ones are most dangerous. There is a very good chance (but no certainty) that at least one lethal GRB took place during the past 5 Gyr close enough to Earth as to significantly damage life. There is a 50% chance that such a lethal GRB took place during the last 500 Myr causing one of the major mass extinction events. Assuming that a similar level of radiation would be lethal to life on other exoplanets hosting life, we explore the potential effects of GRBs to life elsewhere in the Galaxy and the Universe. We find that the probability of a lethal GRB is much larger in the inner Milky Way (95% within a radius of 4 kpc from the galactic center), making it inhospitable to life. Only at the outskirts of the Milky Way, at more than 10 kpc from the galactic center, this probability drops below 50%. When considering the Universe as a whole, the safest environments for life (similar to the one on Earth) are the lowest density regions in the outskirts of large galaxies and life can exist in only ~ 10% of galaxies. Remarkably, a cosmological constant is essential for such systems to exist. Furthermore, because of both the higher GRB rate and galaxies being smaller, life as it exists on Earth could not take place at $z > 0.5$. Early life forms must have been much more resilient to radiation.

On the role of GRBs on life extinction in the Universe [Replacement]

As a copious source of gamma-rays, a nearby Galactic Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) can be a threat to life. Using recent determinations of the rate of GRBs, their luminosity function and properties of their host galaxies, we estimate the probability that a life-threatening (lethal) GRB would take place. Amongst the different kinds of GRBs, long ones are most dangerous. There is a very good chance (but no certainty) that at least one lethal GRB took place during the past 5 Gyr close enough to Earth as to significantly damage life. There is a 50% chance that such a lethal GRB took place during the last 500 Myr causing one of the major mass extinction events. Assuming that a similar level of radiation would be lethal to life on other exoplanets hosting life, we explore the potential effects of GRBs to life elsewhere in the Galaxy and the Universe. We find that the probability of a lethal GRB is much larger in the inner Milky Way (95% within a radius of 4 kpc from the galactic center), making it inhospitable to life. Only at the outskirts of the Milky Way, at more than 10 kpc from the galactic center, this probability drops below 50%. When considering the Universe as a whole, the safest environments for life (similar to the one on Earth) are the lowest density regions in the outskirts of large galaxies and life can exist in only ~ 10% of galaxies. Remarkably, a cosmological constant is essential for such systems to exist. Furthermore, because of both the higher GRB rate and galaxies being smaller, life as it exists on Earth could not take place at $z > 0.5$. Early life forms must have been much more resilient to radiation.

What is Generic Structure of the Three-dimensional Magnetic Reconnection? [Cross-Listing]

The probability of occurrence of various topological configurations of the three-dimensional reconnection in a random magnetic field is studied. It is found that a specific six-tail spatial configuration should play the dominant role, while all other types of reconnection (in particular, the axially-symmetric fan-like structures) are realized with a much less probability. A characteristic feature of the six-tail configuration is that at the sufficiently large scales it is approximately reduced to the well-known two-dimensional X-type structure; and this explains why the two-dimensional models of reconnection usually work quite well.

Polarization operator approach to pair creation in short laser pulses

We investigate the nonlinear Breit-Wheeler process inside short laser pulses, i.e. the creation of an electron-positron pair induced by a gamma photon inside a plane-wave background field. To obtain the total pair-creation probability we verify (to leading-order) the cutting rule for the polarization operator in the realm of strong-field QED by an explicit calculation. Furthermore, a double-integral representation for the leading-order contribution to the field-dependent part of the polarization operator is derived. The combination of both results yields a compact expression for the total pair-creation probability inside an arbitrary plane-wave background field. It is shown numerically that with presently available technology pair-creation probabilities of the order of ten percent could be reached for a single gamma photon.

Search for strong gravitational lensing effect in the current GRB data of BATSE

Because gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) trace the high-z Universe, there is an appreciable probability for a GRB to be gravitational lensed by galaxies in the universe. Herein we consider the gravitational lensing effect of GRBs contributed by the dark matter halos in galaxies. Assuming that all halos have the singular isothermal sphere (SIS) mass profile in the mass range $10^{10} h^{-1} M_\odot < M < 2\times 10^{13} h^{-1}M_\odot $ and all GRB samples follow the intrinsic redshift distribution and luminosity function derived from the Swift LGRBs sample, we calculated the gravitational lensing probability in BATSE, Swift/BAT and Fermi/GBM GRBs, respectively. With an derived probability result in BATSE GRBs, we searched for lensed GRB pairs in the BATSE 5B GRB Spectral catalog. The search did not find any convincing gravitationally lensed events. We discuss our result and future observations for GRB lensing observation.

Respiratory Particle Deposition Probability due to Sedimentation with Variable Gravity and Electrostatic Forces [Cross-Listing]

In this paper, we study the effects of the acceleration gravity on the sedimentation deposition probability, as well as the aerosol deposition rate on the surface of the Earth and Mars, but also aboard a spacecraft in orbit around Earth and Mars as well for particles with density rho_p = 1300 kg/m^3, diameters d_p = 1, 3, 5 micrometers and residence times t = 0.0272, 0.2 s respectively. For particles of diameter 1 micrometer we find that, on the surface of Earth and Mars the deposition probabilities are higher at the poles when compared to the ones at the equator. Similarly, on the surface of the Earth we find that the deposition probabilities exhibit 0.5% and 0.4% higher percentage difference at the poles when compared to that of the equator, for the corresponding residence times. Moreover in orbit equatorial orbits result to higher deposition probabilities when compared to polar ones. For both residence times particles with the diameters considered above in circular and elliptical orbits around Mars, the deposition probabilities appear to be the same for all orbital inclinations. Sedimentation probability increases drastically with particle diameter and orbital eccentricity of the orbiting spacecraft. Finally, as an alternative framework for the study of interaction and the effect of gravity in biology, and in particular gravity and the respiratory system we introduce is the term information in a way Shannon has introduced it, considering the sedimentation probability as a random variable. This can be thought as a way in which gravity enters the cognitive processes of the system (processing of information) in the cybernetic sense.

Revised age for CM Draconis and WD 1633+572: Toward a resolution of model-observation radius discrepancies [Replacement]

We report an age revision for the low-mass detached eclipsing binary CM Draconis and its common proper motion companion, WD 1633+572. An age of 8.5 $\pm$ 3.5 Gyr is found by combining an age estimate for the lifetime of WD 1633+572 and an estimate from galactic space motions. The revised age is greater than a factor of two older than previous estimates. Our results provide consistency between the white dwarf age and the system’s galactic kinematics, which reveal the system is a highly probable member of the galactic thick disk. We find the probability that CM Draconis and WD 1633+572 are members of the thick disk is 8500 times greater than the probability that they are members of the thin disk and 170 times greater than the probability they are halo interlopers. If CM Draconis is a member of the thick disk, it is likely enriched in $\alpha$-elements compared to iron by at least 0.2 dex relative to the Sun. This leads to the possibility that previous studies under-estimate the [Fe/H] value, suggesting the system has a near-solar [Fe/H]. Implications for the long-standing discrepancies between the radii of CM Draconis and predictions from stellar evolution theory are discussed. We conclude that CM Draconis is only inflated by about 2% compared to stellar evolution predictions.

New Entropy Formula with Fluctuating Reservoir [Cross-Listing]

Finite heat reservoir capacity and temperature fluctuations lead to modification of the well known canonical exponential weight factor. Requiring that the corrections least depend on the one-particle energy, we derive a deformed entropy, K(S). The resulting formula contains the Boltzmann-Gibbs, the Renyi and the Tsallis formulas as particular cases. For extreme large fluctuations (compared to the Gaussian case) a new, parameter-free entropy – probability relation emerges. This formula and the corresponding canonical equilibrium distribution are nearly Boltzmannian for high probability, but deviate from the classical result for low probability. In the extreme large fluctuation limit the canonical distribution resembles for low probability the cumulative Gompertz distribution.

Probing Neutrino in Muon Decay at Finite Distance [Replacement]

New physical observables of the neutrino from muon decay derived from the spectrum in non-asymptotic region of $T \leq \tau_{\mu}$ are presented. The probability of the events that the neutrino is detected is the sum $T\Gamma^0 + P^{(d)}$, where each of them reveals the particle and wave characteristics. $\Gamma^0$ is computed with Fermi’s golden rule, whereas $P^{(d)}$ is new and is computed with a new method. $P^{(d)}$ has unusual properties caused by the overlap of the initial and final wave functions, and becomes significant for neutrinos. Neutrino mixing affects $P^{(d)}$ and $\Gamma^0$ differently, and the probability of the event that the particular neutrino is detected, in the distance $L\leq L_0$, and $L\leq c\tau_\mu$, where $L_0 = m_\nu^2/(2E_\nu)$ and $\tau_\mu$ is the life-time of muon, becomes sensitive to the absolute neutrino masses and mixing angles. Including $P^{(d)}$ of three neutrinos, all neutrino experiments made to confirm LSND data become consistent each other, and the future precision experiments will be able to determine the absolute neutrino masses.

A generalized self-veto probability for atmospheric neutrinos

Neutrino telescopes such as IceCube search for an excess of high energy neutrinos above the steeply falling atmospheric background as one approach to finding extraterrestrial neutrinos. For samples of events selected to start in the detector, the atmospheric background can be reduced to the extent that a neutrino interaction inside the fiducial volume is accompanied by a detectable muon from the same cosmic-ray cascade in which the neutrino was produced. Here we provide an approximate calculation of the veto probability as a function of neutrino energy and zenith angle.

Prospects for constrained supersymmetry at $\sqrt{s}=33$ TeV and $\sqrt{s}=100$ TeV proton-proton super-colliders [Replacement]

Discussions are underway for a high-energy proton-proton collider. Two preliminary ideas are the $\sqrt{s}=33$ TeV HE-LHC and the $\sqrt{s}=100$ TeV VLHC. With Bayesian statistics, we calculate the probabilities that the LHC, HE-LHC and VLHC discover SUSY in the future, assuming that nature is described by the CMSSM and given the experimental data from the LHC, LUX and Planck. We find that the LHC with $300$/fb at $\sqrt{s}=14$ TeV has a $15$-$75%$ probability of discovering SUSY. Should that run fail to discover SUSY, the probability of discovering SUSY with $3000$/fb is merely $1$-$10%$. Were SUSY to remain undetected at the LHC, the HE-LHC would have a $35$-$85%$ probability of discovering SUSY with $3000$/fb. The VLHC, on the other hand, ought to be definitive; the probability of it discovering SUSY, assuming that the CMSSM is the correct model, is $100%$.

Prospects for constrained supersymmetry at $\sqrt{s}=33$ TeV and $\sqrt{s}=100$ TeV proton-proton super-colliders

Discussions are underway for a high-energy proton-proton collider. Two preliminary ideas are the $\sqrt{s}=33$ TeV HE-LHC and the $\sqrt{s}=100$ TeV VLHC. With Bayesian statistics, we calculate the probabilities that the LHC, HE-LHC and VLHC discover SUSY in the future, assuming that nature is described by the CMSSM and given the experimental data from the LHC, LUX and Planck. We find that the LHC with $300$/fb at $\sqrt{s}=14$ TeV has a $15$-$75\%$ probability of discovering SUSY. Should that run fail to discover SUSY, the probability of discovering SUSY with $3000$/fb is merely $1$-$10\%$. Were SUSY to remain undetected at the LHC, the HE-LHC would have a $35$-$85\%$ probability of discovering SUSY with $3000$/fb. The VLHC, on the other hand, ought to be definitive; the probability of it discovering SUSY, assuming that the CMSSM is the correct model, is $100\%$.

Semiclassical treatment of pair creation in de Sitter space [Replacement]

We study a massive scalar field theory in de Sitter space. Using worldline instanton approach, we calculate probability of pair production in weak-field limit. In addition to exponential factor we derive pre-exponential factor. Within this approach the vanishing probability for odd-dimensional de Sitter space gets a clear geometrical interpretation. We find leading contribution to imaginary part of two point correlator in $\phi^3$-theory.

Semiclassical treatment of pair creation in de Sitter space [Replacement]

We study a massive scalar field theory in de Sitter space. Using worldline instanton approach, we calculate probability of pair production in weak-field limit. In addition to exponential factor we derive pre-exponential factor. Within this approach the vanishing probability for odd-dimensional de Sitter space gets a clear geometrical interpretation. We find leading contribution to imaginary part of two point correlator in $\phi^3$-theory.

Probability of Vacuum Stability in Type IIB Multi-K\"ahler Moduli Models [Cross-Listing]

We study the probability that all eigenvalues of the moduli mass matrix at extremal points are positive in concrete multi-K\"ahler moduli models of type IIB string theory compactifications in the large volume regime. Our analysis is motivated by the open question if vacua which are uplifted to de Sitter remain stable. We derive a simple analytical condition for the mass matrix to be positive definite, and estimate the corresponding probability in a supersymmetric moduli stabilization model along the lines of KKLT and a non-supersymmetric Large Volume Scenario type of model, given a reasonable range of compactification parameters. Under identical conditions, the probability for the supersymmetric model is moderately higher than that of the Large Volume Scenario type model.

Probability of Vacuum Stability in Type IIB Multi-K\"ahler Moduli Models [Replacement]

We study the probability that all eigenvalues of the moduli mass matrix at extremal points are positive in concrete multi-K\"ahler moduli models of type IIB string theory compactifications in the large volume regime. Our analysis is motivated by the open question if vacua which are uplifted to de Sitter remain stable. We derive a simple analytical condition for the mass matrix to be positive definite, and estimate the corresponding probability in a supersymmetric moduli stabilization model along the lines of KKLT and a non-supersymmetric Large Volume Scenario type of model, given a reasonable range of compactification parameters. Under identical conditions, the probability for the supersymmetric model is moderately higher than that of the Large Volume Scenario type model.

Are GRBs the same at high redshift and low redshift?

The majority of Swift gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) observed at z > 6 have prompt durations of T90 < 30s, which, at first sight, is surprising given that cosmological time-dilation means this corresponds to < 5s in their rest frames. We have tested whether these high-redshift GRBs are consistent with being drawn from the same population as those observed at low-redshift by comparing them to an artificially red-shifted sample of 114 z < 4 bursts. This is accomplished using two methods to produce realistic high-z simulations of light curves based on the observed characteristics of the low-z sample. In Method 1 we use the Swift/BAT data directly, taking the photons detected in the harder bands to predict what would be seen in the softest energy band if the burst were seen at higher-z. In Method 2 we fit the light curves with a model, and use that to extrapolate the expected behaviour over the whole BAT energy range at any redshift. Based on the results of Method 2, a K-S test of their durations finds a ~1% probability that the high-z GRB sample is drawn from the same population as the bright low-z sample. Although apparently marginally significant, we must bear in mind that this test was partially a posteriori, since the rest-frame short durations of several high-z bursts motivated the study in the first instance.

CMB ISW-lensing bispectrum from cosmic strings

We study the effect of weak lensing by cosmic (super-)strings on the higher-order statistics of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). A cosmic string segment is expected to cause weak lensing as well as an integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect, the so-called Gott-Kaiser-Stebbins (GKS) effect, to the CMB temperature fluctuation, which are thus naturally cross-correlated. We point out that, in the presence of such a correlation, yet another kind of the CMB temperature bispectra, the ISW-lensing bispectra, will arise in the form of products of the auto- and cross-power spectra. We first present an analytic method to calculate the autocorrelation of the temperature fluctuations induced by the strings, and the cross-correlation between the temperature fluctuation and the lensing potential both due to the string network. In our formulation, intercommutation probability is properly incorporated in order to characterize the possible superstringy nature. We then estimate the signal-to-noise ratios of the string-induced ISW-lensing bispectra and discuss the detectability of such CMB signals from the cosmic string network. It is found that the ISW-lensing bispectrum induced by a cosmic string network can constrain the string-model parameters even more tightly than the purely GKS-induced bispectrum in the ongoing and future CMB observations on small scales.

CMB ISW-lensing bispectrum from cosmic strings [Cross-Listing]

We study the effect of weak lensing by cosmic (super-)strings on the higher-order statistics of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). A cosmic string segment is expected to cause weak lensing as well as an integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect, the so-called Gott-Kaiser-Stebbins (GKS) effect, to the CMB temperature fluctuation, which are thus naturally cross-correlated. We point out that, in the presence of such a correlation, yet another kind of the CMB temperature bispectra, the ISW-lensing bispectra, will arise in the form of products of the auto- and cross-power spectra. We first present an analytic method to calculate the autocorrelation of the temperature fluctuations induced by the strings, and the cross-correlation between the temperature fluctuation and the lensing potential both due to the string network. In our formulation, intercommutation probability is properly incorporated in order to characterize the possible superstringy nature. We then estimate the signal-to-noise ratios of the string-induced ISW-lensing bispectra and discuss the detectability of such CMB signals from the cosmic string network. It is found that the ISW-lensing bispectrum induced by a cosmic string network can constrain the string-model parameters even more tightly than the purely GKS-induced bispectrum in the ongoing and future CMB observations on small scales.

Bayesian Matching for X-ray and Infrared Sources in the MYStIX Project

Identifying the infrared counterparts of X-ray sources in Galactic Plane fields such as those of the MYStIX project presents particular difficulties due to the high density of infrared sources. This high stellar density makes it inevitable that a large fraction of X-ray positions will have a faint field star close to them, which standard matching techniques may incorrectly take to be the counterpart. Instead we use the infrared data to create a model of both the field star and counterpart magnitude distributions, which we then combine with a Bayesian technique to yield a probability that any star is the counterpart of an X-ray source. In our more crowded fields, between 10 and 20% of counterparts that would be identified on the grounds of being the closest star to X-ray position within a 99% confidence error circle are instead identified by the Bayesian technique as field stars. These stars are preferentially concentrated at faint magnitudes. Equally importantly the technique also gives a probability that the true counterpart to the X-ray source falls beneath the magnitude limit of the infrared catalog. In deriving our method, we place it in the context of other procedures for matching astronomical catalogs.

Inflation after False Vacuum Decay: Observational Prospects after Planck [Cross-Listing]

We assess potential signals of the formation of our universe by the decay of a false vacuum. Negative spatial curvature is one possibility, but the window for its detection is now small. However, another possible signal is a suppression of the CMB power spectrum at large angles. This arises from the steepening of the effective potential as it interpolates between a flat inflationary plateau and the high barrier separating us from our parent vacuum. We demonstrate that these two effects can be parametrically separated in angular scale. Observationally, the steepening effect appears to be excluded at large l; but it remains consistent with the slight lack of power below l about 30 found by the WMAP and Planck collaborations. We give two simple models which improve the fit to the Planck data; one with observable curvature and one without. Despite cosmic variance, we argue that future CMB polarization and most importantly large-scale structure observations should be able to corroborate the Planck anomaly if it is real. If we further assume the specific theoretical setting of a landscape of metastable vacua, as suggested by string theory, we can estimate the probability of seeing a low-l suppression in the CMB. There are significant theoretical uncertainties in such calculations, but we argue the probability for a detectable suppression may be as large as O(1), and in general is significantly larger than the probability of seeing curvature.

Hunting the Parent of the Orphan Stream II: The First High-Resolution Spectroscopic Study

We present the first high-resolution spectroscopic study on the Orphan Stream for five stream candidates, observed with the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) spectrograph on the Magellan Clay telescope. The targets were selected from the low-resolution catalog of Casey et al. (2013a): 3 high-probability members, 1 medium and 1 low-probability stream candidate were observed. Our analysis indicates the low and medium-probability target are metal-rich field stars. The remaining three high-probability targets range ~1 dex in metallicity, and are chemically distinct compared to the other 2 targets and all standard stars: low [alpha/Fe] abundances are observed, and lower limits are ascertained for [Ba/Y], which sit well above the Milky Way trend. These chemical signatures demonstrate that the undiscovered parent system is unequivocally a dwarf spheroidal galaxy, consistent with dynamical constraints inferred from the stream width and arc. As such, we firmly exclude the proposed association between NGC 2419 and the Orphan stream. Given the overlap in the range of metallicities between the Orphan stream and Segue 1, an association between the two appears even more plausible than previously considered. However, open questions remain before Segue 1 could possibly be claimed as the `parent’ of the Orphan stream. The parent system could well remain undiscovered in the southern sky.

The Stochastic Properties of $\ell^1$-Regularized Spherical Gaussian Fields [Cross-Listing]

Convex regularization techniques are now widespread tools for solving inverse problems in a variety of different frameworks. In some cases, the functions to be reconstructed are naturally viewed as realizations from random processes; an important question is thus whether such regularization techniques preserve the properties of the underlying probability measures. We focus here on a case which has produced a very lively debate in the cosmological literature, namely Gaussian and isotropic spherical random fields, and we prove that Gaussianity and isotropy are not conserved in general under convex regularization over a Fourier dictionary, such as the orthonormal system of spherical harmonics.

Baryon inhomogeneities in a charged quark gluon plasma [Cross-Listing]

We study the generation of baryon inhomogeneities in regions of the quark gluon plasma which have a charge imbalance. We find that the overdensity in the baryon lumps for positively charged particles is different from the overdensity due to the negatively charged particles. Since quarks are charged particles, the probability of forming neutrons or protons in the lumps would thus be changed. The probability of forming hadrons having quarks of the same charges would be enhanced. This might have interesting consequences for the inhomogeneous nucleosynthesis calculations.

Simultaneous X-ray and Radio Observations of Rotating Radio Transient J1819-1458

We present the results of simultaneous radio and X-ray observations of PSR J1819-1458. Our 94-ks XMM-Newton observation of the high magnetic field 5*10^13 G pulsar reveals a blackbody spectrum (kT~130 eV) with a broad absorption feature, possibly composed of two lines at ~1.0 and ~1.3 keV. We performed a correlation analysis of the X-ray photons with radio pulses detected in 16.2 hours of simultaneous observations at 1-2 GHz with the Green Bank, Effelsberg, and Parkes telescopes, respectively. Both the detected X-ray photons and radio pulses appear to be randomly distributed in time. We find tentative evidence for a correlation between the detected radio pulses and X-ray photons on timescales of less than 10 pulsar spin periods, with the probability of this occurring by chance being 0.46%. This suggests that the physical process producing the radio pulses may also heat the polar-cap.

Merger Driven Explosive Evolution of Distant Galaxies (Minor Mergers)

We derived solutions for the Smoluchowski kinetic equation for the mass function of galaxies, which describes mergers in differential approximation, where mergers with low-mass galaxies are the dominant factor. The evolution of the initial distribution is analyzed as well as the influence of the source represented by galaxies (halos) that separate from the global cosmological expansion. It is shown that the evolution of the slope of the power-law part of the luminosity function at a constant mass-to-luminosity ratio observed in the Ultra Deep Hubble Field can be described as a result of explosive evolution driven by galaxy mergers. In this case the exponent depends exclusively on the uniformity degree of merger probability as a function of mass.

Merger Driven Explosive Evolution of Distant Galaxies (Minor Mergers) [Replacement]

We derived solutions for the Smoluchowski kinetic equation for the mass function of galaxies, which describes mergers in differential approximation, where mergers with low-mass galaxies are the dominant factor. The evolution of the initial distribution is analyzed as well as the influence of the source represented by galaxies (halos) that separate from the global cosmological expansion. It is shown that the evolution of the slope of the power-law part of the luminosity function at a constant mass-to-luminosity ratio observed in the Ultra Deep Hubble Field can be described as a result of explosive evolution driven by galaxy mergers. In this case the exponent depends exclusively on the uniformity degree of merger probability as a function of mass.

Constraining Primordial Magnetic Fields by CMB Photon-Graviton Conversion

We revisit the method of using the photon-graviton conversion mechanism in the presence of the external magnetic field to probe small-scale primordial magnetic fields that may exist between the last scattering surface and present. Specifically, we investigate impacts on the conversion efficiency due to the presence of matter, including the plasma collective effect and the atomic polarizability. In general, these effects tend to reduce the conversion probability. Under this more realistic picture and based on the precision of COBE’s measurement of CMB (cosmic microwave background) blackbody spectrum, we find an upper bound for the primordial magnetic field strength, B < 30G, at the time of recombination. Although at present the bound based on the photon-graviton conversion mechanism is not as tight as that obtained by the direct use of CMB temperature anisotropy, it nevertheless provides an important independent constraint on primordial magnetic fields and at epochs in addition to the recombination. The bound can be significantly improved if the CMB blackbody spectrum measurement becomes more precise in future experiments such as PIXIE.

Limits on the Number of Galactic Young Supernova Remnants Emitting in the Decay Lines of 44Ti

We revise the assumptions of the parameters involved in predicting the number of supernova remnants detectable in the nuclear lines of the decay chain of 44Ti. Specifically, we consider the distribution of the supernova progenitors, the supernova rate in the Galaxy, the ratios of supernova types, the Galactic production of 44Ti, and the 44Ti yield from supernovae of different types, to derive credible bounds on the expected number of detectable remnants. We find that, within 1 sigma uncertainty, the Galaxy should contain an average of 5.1+2.4-2.0 remnants detectable to a survey with a 44Ti decay line flux limit of 10E-5 photons/cm2/s, with a probability of detecting a single remnant of (2.7+10.0-2.4)%, and an expected number of detections between 2 and 9 remnants, making the single detection of Cas A unlikely but consistent with our models. Our results show that the probability of detecting the brightest 44Ti flux source at the high absolute Galactic longitude of Cas A or above is ~10%. Using the detected flux of Cas A, we attempt to constrain the Galactic supernova rate and Galactic production of 44Ti, but find the detection to be only weakly informative. We conclude that even future surveys having 200 times more sensitivity than state-of-the art surveys can be guaranteed to detect only a few new remnants, with an expected number of detections between 8 and 21 at a limiting 44Ti decay flux of 10E-7 photons/cm2/s.

Bright 22 $\mu$m Excess Candidates from WISE All-Sky Catalog and Hipparcos Main Catalog

In this paper we present a catalog which includes 141 bright candidates ($\leq10.27$ mag, V band) showing the infrared (IR) excess at 22 $\mu$m. Of which, 38 stars are known IR excess stars or disk, 23 stars are double or multiple stars and 4 are Be stars. While the remaining more than 70 stars are identified as the 22 $\mu$m excess candidates in our work. The criterion of selecting candidates is $K_s-[22]_{\mu m}$. All these candidates are selected from \emph{WISE} All-sky data cross-correlated with \emph{Hipparcos} Main Catalog and the likelihood-ratio technique is employed. Considering the effect of background, we introduce the \emph{IRAS} 100 $\mu$m level to exclude the high background. We also estimated the coincidence probability of these sources. In addition, we presented the optical to mid-infrared SEDs and optical images of all the candidates, and gave the observed optical spectra of 6 stars with NAOC’s 2.16-m telescope. To measure for the dust amount around each star, the fractional luminosity is also provided. We also test whether our method of selecting IR excess stars can be used to search for extra-solar planets, we cross-matched our catalog with known IR-excess stars having planets but none is matched. Finally, we give the fraction of stars showing IR-excess for different spectral type of main-sequence stars.

Hypervelocity Star Candidates in the SEGUE G & K Dwarf Sample

We identify 13 candidate hypervelocity stars from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) G and K dwarf samples. Previous searches for hypervelocity stars have only focused on large radial velocities; in this study we also use proper motions to select the candidates. We determine the hypervelocity likelihood of each candidate, considering the significant errors often associated with high proper motion stars via Monte Carlo simulations. We find that more than half of the candidates exceed their escape velocities with at least 90% probability. All of our candidates also have less than a 60% chance of being a high velocity fluke within the SEGUE sample. Based on orbits calculated using the observed 6-d positions and velocities, few, if any, of these candidates originate from the Galactic Center. If these candidates are truly hypervelocity stars, they were not ejected by interactions with the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole. This calls for a more serious examination of alternative hypervelocity star ejection scenarios.

Possible Transit Timing Variations of the TrES-3 Planetary System

Five newly observed transit light curves of the TrES-3 planetary system are presented. Together with other light curve data from literature, 23 transit light curves in total, which cover an overall timescale of 911 epochs, have been analyzed through a standard procedure. From these observational data, the system’s orbital parameters are determined and possible transit timing variations are investigated. Given that a null transit-timing-variation produces a fit with reduced chi^2=1.52, our results agree with previous work, that transit timing variations might not exist in these data. However, a 1-frequency oscillating transit-timing-variation model, giving a fit with a reduced chi^2=0.93, does possess a statistically higher probability. It is, thus, concluded that future observations and dynamical simulations for this planetary system will be very important.

Studying the multi-wavelength signals from short GRBs

Since the first host galaxies and afterglows of short GRBs were identified, they have remained very difficult to study: their multiwavelenth afterglows are notoriously faint and host galaxy identification often relies upon minimalising a chance alignment probability. Despite these observational challenges, there is now a sufficiently large sample to constrain the properties of the wider population and, in this review talk, I will summarise the current multi-wavelength observations of short GRBs. Additionally, I will describe how these observed data are able to both support and challenge the standard theoretical models of the progenitors and central engines. Looking towards the future, due to technological and theoretical advances, we are about to enter an exciting era for the study of short GRBs. We will be able to search for predicted counterparts in wide-field multi-wavelength transient searches and have the tantalising prospect of finding the very first “smoking gun” signal from the progenitor via the detection of gravitational waves.

8 Planets in 4 Multi-planet Systems via TTVs in 1350 Days [Replacement]

Analysis of the transit timing variations (TTVs) of candidate pairs near mean-motion resonances (MMRs) is an effective method to confirm planets. Hitherto, 66 planets in 33 multi-planet systems have been confirmed via TTVs. We analyze the TTVs of all candidates from the most recent {\it Kepler} data with a time span as long as about 1350 days (Q0-Q15). The anti-correlations and the mass upper limits of candidate pairs in the same system are calculated, using an improved method suitable for long-period TTVs. If the false alarm probability (FAP) of a candidate pair is less than $10^{-3}$ and the mass upper limit for each candidate is less than 13 ${\rm M}_{\rm J}$, we confirm them as planets in the same system. Finally, 8 planets in 4 multi-planet systems are confirmed via analysis of their TTVs. All of the 4 planet pairs are near first-order MMRs, including KOI-2672 near 2:1 MMR, KOI-1236, KOI-1563 and KOI-2038 near 3:2 MMR. Four planets have relatively long periods ($>$ 35 day). KOI-2672.01 has a period of 88.51658 day and a best-fit mass about 17.086 ${\rm M}_\oplus$. It is the longest periodical planet confirmed via TTVs near first-order MMRs.

Mixing of gravitons with photons in primordial magnetic fields

Here I discuss the conversion of relic gravitons into photons in large scale cosmological magnetic fields. It is shown that the conversion probability is quite large at the post recombination epoch with a rather large density of formed photons. The produced electromagnetic radiation could make a substantial contribution to the cosmic extragalactic background light and even explain the cosmic x ray background excess.

Hartle-Hawking no-boundary proposal in dRGT massive gravity: Making inflation exponentially more probable [Replacement]

It is known that the no-boundary proposal in the traditional Einstein gravity does not prefer inflation, that is, the probability of realizing a large number of e-folds is exponentially suppressed. This situation may be changed drastically in a class of nonlinear massive gravity theories recently proposed by deRham, Gabadadze and Tolley, called dRGT massive gravity. We show that the contribution from the massive gravity sector can enhance the probability of a large number of e-folds substantially for a sufficiently large mass parameter mg comparable to the Hubble parameter during inflation, say $m_g \gtrsim 10^{12}$ GeV. We illustrate possible models to trigger such a large mass parameter in the early universe while it is negligibly small in the present universe. This opens a new window to explore the inflationary scenario in the context of quantum cosmology.

Quadrupole--octopole alignment of CMB related to primordial power spectrum with dipolar modulation in anisotropic spacetime

The WMAP and Planck observations show that the quadrupole and octopole orientations of the CMB might align with each other. We reveal that the quadrupole–octopole alignment is a natural implication of the primordial power spectrum in an anisotropic spacetime. The primordial power spectrum is presented with a dipolar modulation. We obtain the privileged plane by employing the "power tensor" technique. At this plane, there is the maximum correlation between quadrupole and octopole. The probability for the alignment is much larger than what in the isotropic universe. We find that this model would lead to deviations from the statistical isotropy only for low–\(\ell\) multipoles.

On the Eclipse of Thales, Cycles and Probabilities [Cross-Listing]

According to classical tradition, Thales of Miletus predicted the total solar eclipse that took place on 28 May 585 BCE. Even if some authors have flatly denied the possibility of such a prediction, others have struggled to find cycles which would justify the achievement of the philosopher. Some of the proposed cycles have already been refuted, but two of them, namely those of Willy Hartner and Dirk Couprie, remain unchallenged. This paper presents some important objections to these two possibilities, based on the fact that these authors do not list all the eclipses potentially visible by their criteria. In addition, any explanation based on cycles will need to face the complex problem of visibility (smallest observable eclipse, weather…). The present article also includes a statistical study on the predictability of solar eclipses for a variety of periods, similar to that performed by Willy Hartner for lunar eclipses, resulting in lower probabilities in the solar case (and percentages depend on the chosen magnitude limit). The conclusion is that none of the cycles proposed so far provides a satisfactory explanation of the prediction, and, on statistical grounds, none of the periods studied leads to a significant probability of success with solar eclipse cycles.

An investigation into the radial velocity variability of GJ 581 - On the significance of GJ 581g

We investigate the radial velocity variation of GJ 581 based on measurements from the HARPS and Keck HIRES spectrographs. A Fourier pre-whitening procedure is able to extract four planetary signals in the HARPS data and two from the Keck data. Combining both data sets increases the significance of the four planet signals found by HARPS. This indicates that the Keck data also supports the presence of four planets. A periodogram analysis of the residual radial velocity measurements after removal of the four planetary signals shows several periodic signals that are significant when assessing the false alarm probability via a bootstrap. However, it is demonstrated that these are not due to planetary companions. This analysis is able to confirm the presence of four planets around GJ 581, but not the presence of GJ 581g.

 

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