Posts Tagged scenarios

Recent Postings from scenarios

CMS kinematic edge from s-bottoms

We present two scenarios in the Minimal Supersymmetric Extension of the Standard Model (MSSM) that can lead to an explanation of the excess in the invariant mass distribution of two opposite charged, same flavor leptons, and the corresponding edge at an energy of about 78 GeV, recently reported by the CMS collaboration. In both scenarios, s-bottoms are pair produced, and decay to neutralinos and a b-jet. The heavier neutralinos further decay to a pair of leptons and the lightest neutralino through on-shell s-leptons or off-shell neutral gauge bosons. These scenarios are consistent with the current limits on the s-bottoms, neutralinos, and s-leptons. Assuming that the lightest neutralino is stable we discuss the predicted relic density as well as the implications for Dark Matter direct detection. We show that consistency between the predicted and the measured value of the muon anomalous magnetic moment may be obtained in both scenarios. Finally, we define the signatures of these models that may be tested at the 13 TeV run of the LHC.

Sequestered de Sitter String Scenarios: Soft-terms

We analyse soft supersymmetry breaking in type IIB de Sitter string vacua after moduli stabilisation, focussing on models in which the Standard Model is sequestered from the supersymmetry breaking sources and the spectrum of soft-terms is hierarchically smaller than the gravitino mass $m_{3/2}$. Due to this feature, these models are compatible with gauge coupling unification and TeV scale supersymmetry with no cosmological moduli problem. We determine the influence on soft-terms of concrete realisations of de Sitter vacua constructed from supersymmetric effective actions. One of these scenarios provides the first study of soft-terms for consistent string models embedded in a compact Calabi-Yau manifold with all moduli stabilised. Depending on the moduli dependence of the Kaehler metric for matter fields and on the mechanism responsible to obtain a de Sitter vacuum, we find two scenarios for phenomenology: (i) a split-supersymmetry scenario where gaugino masses are suppressed with respect to scalar masses: $M_{1/2} \sim m_{3/2} \epsilon \ll m_0 \sim m_{3/2} \sqrt{\epsilon} \ll m_{3/2}$ for $\epsilon \sim m_{3/2}/M_P \ll 1$; (ii) a typical MSSM scenario where all soft-terms are of the same order: $M_{1/2} \sim m_0 \sim m_{3/2} \epsilon \ll m_{3/2}$. Background fluxes determine the numerical coefficients of the soft-terms allowing for small variations of parameters as is necessary to confront data and to interpolate between different scenarios. We comment on different stringy origins of the mu-term and potential sources of desequestering.

Sequestered de Sitter String Scenarios: Soft-terms [Cross-Listing]

We analyse soft supersymmetry breaking in type IIB de Sitter string vacua after moduli stabilisation, focussing on models in which the Standard Model is sequestered from the supersymmetry breaking sources and the spectrum of soft-terms is hierarchically smaller than the gravitino mass $m_{3/2}$. Due to this feature, these models are compatible with gauge coupling unification and TeV scale supersymmetry with no cosmological moduli problem. We determine the influence on soft-terms of concrete realisations of de Sitter vacua constructed from supersymmetric effective actions. One of these scenarios provides the first study of soft-terms for consistent string models embedded in a compact Calabi-Yau manifold with all moduli stabilised. Depending on the moduli dependence of the Kaehler metric for matter fields and on the mechanism responsible to obtain a de Sitter vacuum, we find two scenarios for phenomenology: (i) a split-supersymmetry scenario where gaugino masses are suppressed with respect to scalar masses: $M_{1/2} \sim m_{3/2} \epsilon \ll m_0 \sim m_{3/2} \sqrt{\epsilon} \ll m_{3/2}$ for $\epsilon \sim m_{3/2}/M_P \ll 1$; (ii) a typical MSSM scenario where all soft-terms are of the same order: $M_{1/2} \sim m_0 \sim m_{3/2} \epsilon \ll m_{3/2}$. Background fluxes determine the numerical coefficients of the soft-terms allowing for small variations of parameters as is necessary to confront data and to interpolate between different scenarios. We comment on different stringy origins of the mu-term and potential sources of desequestering.

Sequestered de Sitter String Scenarios: Soft-terms

We analyse soft supersymmetry breaking in type IIB de Sitter string vacua after moduli stabilisation, focussing on models in which the Standard Model is sequestered from the supersymmetry breaking sources and the spectrum of soft-terms is hierarchically smaller than the gravitino mass $m_{3/2}$. Due to this feature, these models are compatible with gauge coupling unification and TeV scale supersymmetry with no cosmological moduli problem. We determine the influence on soft-terms of concrete realisations of de Sitter vacua constructed from supersymmetric effective actions. One of these scenarios provides the first study of soft-terms for consistent string models embedded in a compact Calabi-Yau manifold with all moduli stabilised. Depending on the moduli dependence of the Kaehler metric for matter fields and on the mechanism responsible to obtain a de Sitter vacuum, we find two scenarios for phenomenology: (i) a split-supersymmetry scenario where gaugino masses are suppressed with respect to scalar masses: $M_{1/2} \sim m_{3/2} \epsilon \ll m_0 \sim m_{3/2} \sqrt{\epsilon} \ll m_{3/2}$ for $\epsilon \sim m_{3/2}/M_P \ll 1$; (ii) a typical MSSM scenario where all soft-terms are of the same order: $M_{1/2} \sim m_0 \sim m_{3/2} \epsilon \ll m_{3/2}$. Background fluxes determine the numerical coefficients of the soft-terms allowing for small variations of parameters as is necessary to confront data and to interpolate between different scenarios. We comment on different stringy origins of the mu-term and potential sources of desequestering.

Revisiting the Emission from Relativistic Blast Waves in a Density-Jump Medium

Re-brightening bumps are frequently observed in gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. Many scenarios have been proposed to interpret the origin of these bumps, of which a blast wave encountering a density-jump in the circumburst environment has been questioned by recent works. We develop a set of differential equations to calculate the relativistic outflow encountering the density-jump by extending the work of Huang et al. (1999). This approach is a semi-analytic method and is very convenient. Our results show that late high-amplitude bumps can not be produced under common conditions, only short plateau may emerge even when the encounter occurs at early time ($< 10^4$ s). In general, our results disfavor the density-jump origin for those observed bumps, which is consistent with the conclusion drawn from full hydrodynamics studies. The bumps thus should be due to other scenarios.

Revisiting the Emission from Relativistic Blast Waves in a Density-Jump Medium [Replacement]

Re-brightening bumps are frequently observed in gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows. Many scenarios have been proposed to interpret the origin of these bumps, of which a blast wave encountering a density-jump in the circumburst environment has been questioned by recent works. We develop a set of differential equations to calculate the relativistic outflow encountering the density-jump by extending the work of Huang et al. (1999). This approach is a semi-analytic method and is very convenient. Our results show that late high-amplitude bumps can not be produced under common conditions, only short plateau may emerge even when the encounter occurs at early time ($< 10^4$ s). In general, our results disfavor the density-jump origin for those observed bumps, which is consistent with the conclusion drawn from full hydrodynamics studies. The bumps thus should be due to other scenarios.

Renormalization Group Evolution of Neutrino Parameters in Presence of Seesaw Threshold Effects and Majorana Phases

We examine the renormalization group evolution (RGE) for different mixing scenarios in the presence of seesaw threshold effects from high energy scale (GUT) to the low electroweak (EW) scale in the Standard Model (SM) and the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM). We consider four mixing scenarios namely Tri-Bimaximal Mixing, Bimaximal Mixing, Hexagonal Mixing and Golden Ratio Mixing which come from different flavor symmetries at the GUT scale. All these mixing scenarios give vanishing reactor angle ($\theta_{13}$) and maximal atmospheric mixing angle. The solar mixing angle has different value for all four cases. In the light of non zero value of $\theta_{13}$ it becomes interesting to study the present status of these symmetries, i.e. whether they can generate the current neutrino oscillation data at low energy scale or not. We find that the Majorana phases play an important role in the RGE running of these mixing patterns along with the seesaw threshold corrections. We present a comparative study of the RGE of all these mixing scenarios both with and without Majorana CP phases when seesaw threshold corrections are taken into consideration. We find that in the absence of these Majorana phases both the RGE running and seesaw effects may lead to $\theta_{13}< $5$^\circ$ at low energies both in the SM and the MSSM. However, if the Majorana phases are incorporated to the mixing matrix the running can be enhanced both in the SM and the MSSM. Even by incorporating non zero Majorana CP phases in the SM, we do not get $\theta_{13}$ in its present 3$\sigma$ range. The current values of the two mass squared differences and mixing angles including $\theta_{13}$ can be produced in the MSSM case with tan$\beta$ = 10 and non zero Majorana CP phases at low energy.

Cosmological scenarios in modified gravity with non-dynamical fields [Replacement]

In this paper we address the issue of exploring some cosmological scenarios in modified Einstein gravity through non-dynamical (auxiliary) fields. We found that all scenarios are controlled by a specific parameter associated with an auxiliary field. We explore the emergence of inflationary, radiation, matter and dark energy dominated regimes. Furthermore, an interesting possibility such as the emergence of a self-tuning mechanism to the cosmological constant problem in the radiation dominated era is also discussed.

Cosmological scenarios in modified gravity with non-dynamical fields [Replacement]

In this paper we address the issue of exploring some cosmological scenarios in modified Einstein gravity through non-dynamical (auxiliary) fields. We found that all scenarios are controlled by a specific parameter associated with an auxiliary field. We explore the emergence of inflationary, radiation, matter and dark energy dominated regimes. Furthermore, an interesting possibility such as the emergence of a self-tuning mechanism to the cosmological constant problem in the radiation dominated era is also discussed.

Cosmological scenarios in modified gravity with non-dynamical fields [Replacement]

In this paper we address the issue of exploring some cosmological scenarios in modified Einstein gravity through non-dynamical (auxiliary) fields. We found that all scenarios are controlled by a specific parameter associated with an auxiliary field. We explore the emergence of inflationary, radiation, matter and dark energy dominated regimes. Furthermore, an interesting possibility such as the emergence of a self-tuning mechanism to the cosmological constant problem in the radiation dominated era is also discussed.

Cosmological scenarios in modified gravity with non-dynamical fields [Replacement]

In this paper we address the issue of exploring some cosmological scenarios in modified Einstein gravity through non-dynamical (auxiliary) fields. We found that all scenarios are controlled by a specific parameter associated with an auxiliary field. We explore the emergence of inflationary, radiation, matter and dark energy dominated regimes. Furthermore, an interesting possibility such as the emergence of a self-tuning mechanism to the cosmological constant problem in the radiation dominated era is also discussed.

Cosmological scenarios in modified gravity with non-dynamical fields

In this paper we address the issue of exploring some cosmological scenarios in modified Einstein gravity through non-dynamical (auxiliary) fields. We found that all scenarios are controlled by a specific parameter associated with an auxiliary field. We explore the emergence of inflationary, radiation, matter and dark energy dominated regimes. Furthermore, an interesting possibility such as the emergence of a self-tuning mechanism to the cosmological constant problem in the radiation dominated era is also discussed.

Collisional modelling of the debris disc around HIP 17439

We present an analysis of the debris disc around the nearby K2 V star HIP 17439. In the context of the Herschel DUNES key programme the disc was observed and spatially resolved in the far-IR with the Herschel PACS and SPIRE instruments. In a first model, Ertel et al. (2014) assumed the size and radial distribution of the circumstellar dust to be independent power laws. There, by exploring a very broad range of possible model parameters several scenarios capable of explaining the observations were suggested. In this paper, we perform a follow-up in-depth collisional modelling of these scenarios trying to further distinguish between them. In our models we consider collisions, direct radiation pressure, and drag forces, i.e. the actual physical processes operating in debris discs. We find that all scenarios discussed in Ertel et al. are physically sensible and can reproduce the observed SED along with the PACS surface brightness profiles reasonably well. In one model, the dust is produced beyond 120au in a narrow planetesimal belt and is transported inwards by Poynting-Robertson and stellar wind drag. A good agreement with the observed radial profiles would require stellar winds by about an order of magnitude stronger than the solar value, which is not supported, although not ruled out, by observations. Another model consists of two spatially separated planetesimal belts, a warm inner and a cold outer one. This scenario would probably imply the presence of planets clearing the gap between the two components. Finally, we show qualitatively that the observations can be explained by assuming the dust is produced in a single, but broad planetesimal disc with a surface density of solids rising outwards, as expected for an extended disc that experiences a natural inside-out collisional depletion. Prospects of discriminating between the competing scenarios by future observations are discussed.

Phenomenology of $E_6$-Inspired Leptophobic $Z'$ Boson at the LHC [Replacement]

We study collider phenomenology of a leptophobic $Z’$ boson existing in eight scenarios of the $E_6$ grand unified theory, differing in particle embeddings. We first review the current bound on the $Z’$ mass $m_{Z’}$ based upon the LHC data of $pp\to t\bar{t}$ process at 8 TeV collisions with an integrated luminosity of 19.6 fb$^{-1}$. Most scenarios have a lower bound of about 1 TeV. However, this constraint does not apply to the case where $m_{Z’} < 2 m_t$, and other methods need to be employed for this lower mass regime. Using existing UA2 constraints and dijet data at the LHC, we find that only one of the eight scenarios is excluded at 95\% confidence level. No bound can be obtained from $Wjj$ and $Zjj$ measurements. We propose to use the photon associated production of the $Z’$ boson that subsequently decays into a pair of bottom quarks, $pp\to Z’\gamma \to b\bar{b}\gamma$, at the LHC to explore the constraints in the lower mass regime. We compute the expected signal significance as a function of $m_{Z’}$ using detailed simulations of signal and irreducible background events. We find constraints for two more scenarios using the 8-TeV data and taking appropriate kinematical cuts. We also show the discovery reach for each scenario at the 14-TeV LHC machine.

Radiative neutrino mass generation linked to neutrino mixing and neutrinoless double beta decay predictions

We discuss the connection between the origin of neutrino masses and their mixings which arises in a class of scenarios with radiatively induced neutrino masses. In these scenarios, the neutrino mass matrix acquires textures with two entries close to zero in the basis where the charged-lepton mass matrix is diagonal. This results in specific constraints on the neutrino mixing parameters,which leads to the prediction of (i) a normal ordering of neutrino masses with the lightest neutrino mass in the $\sim$meV range, and (ii) testable correlations among the various mixing angles, including a non-zero $\theta_{13}$ angle with its exact value correlated with the values of the atmospheric angle $\theta_{23}$ and the CP phase $\delta$. We quantify the impact of deviations from exact zeroes in the mass matrix texture, and connect it to the amount of hierarchy among Yukawa couplings. These scenarios of radiative neutrino mass generation also give rise to new short-range contributions to neutrinoless double beta decay, which dominate over the usual light-neutrino exchange contribution. As a result, this class of models can have a sizable neutrinoless double beta decay rate, in the range of upcoming experiments despite the normal mass ordering of neutrinos.

Radiative neutrino mass generation linked to neutrino mixing and $0\nu\beta\beta$-decay predictions [Replacement]

We discuss the connection between the origin of neutrino masses and their mixings which arises in a class of scenarios with radiatively induced neutrino masses. In these scenarios, the neutrino mass matrix acquires textures with two entries close to zero in the basis where the charged-lepton mass matrix is diagonal. This results in specific constraints on the neutrino mixing parameters, which leads to the prediction of (i) a normal ordering of neutrino masses with the lightest neutrino mass in the $\sim$ meV range and (ii) testable correlations among the various mixing angles, including a nonzero $\theta_{13}$ angle with its exact value correlated with the values of the atmospheric angle $\theta_{23}$ and the $CP$ phase $\delta$. We quantify the impact of deviations from exact zeroes in the mass matrix texture and connect it to the amount of hierarchy among Yukawa couplings. These scenarios of radiative neutrino mass generation also give rise to new short-range contributions to neutrinoless double beta decay, which dominate over the usual light-neutrino exchange contribution. As a result, this class of models can have a sizable neutrinoless double beta decay rate, in the range of upcoming experiments despite the normal mass ordering of neutrinos.

High-energy collisions inside black holes and their counterpart in the flat space-time

Two particles can collide inside a black hole in such a way that the energy E_{c.m.} in their centre of mass frame becomes as large as one likes. We show that this effect can be understood with the help of simple analogy with particle collision in the flat space-time. We also expand our previous results and demonstrate new scenarios with unbound E_{c.m.}. In contrast to the previous scenarios which required proximity of collision to the bifurcation point, now this is not necessary. Full classification of scenarios with unbound E_{c.m.} is suggested.

High-energy collisions inside black holes and their counterpart in the flat space-time [Cross-Listing]

Two particles can collide inside a black hole in such a way that the energy E_{c.m.} in their centre of mass frame becomes as large as one likes. We show that this effect can be understood with the help of simple analogy with particle collision in the flat space-time. We also expand our previous results and demonstrate new scenarios with unbound E_{c.m.}. In contrast to the previous scenarios which required proximity of collision to the bifurcation point, now this is not necessary. Full classification of scenarios with unbound E_{c.m.} is suggested.

The prompt-early afterglow connection in GRBs

We study the observed correlations between the duration and luminosity of the early afterglow plateau and the isotropic gamma-ray energy release during the prompt phase. We discuss these correlations in the context of two scenarios for the origin of the plateaus. In the first one the afterglow is made by the forward shock and the plateau results from variations of the microphysics parameters while in the second one the early afterglow is made by a long-lived reverse shock propagating in a low Lorentz factor tail of the ejecta.

A search for long-lived gravitational-wave transients coincident with long gamma-ray bursts [Replacement]

Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (~10-1000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO’s fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^-2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^-2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.

A search for long-lived gravitational-wave transients coincident with long gamma-ray bursts

Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (~10-1000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO’s fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^-2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^-2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.

A search for long-lived gravitational-wave transients coincident with long gamma-ray bursts [Cross-Listing]

Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (~10-1000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO’s fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^-2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^-2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.

A search for long-lived gravitational-wave transients coincident with long gamma-ray bursts [Replacement]

Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (~10-1000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO’s fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^-2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^-2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.

Numerical simulations of composite supernova remnants for small $\sigma$ pulsar wind nebulae

Composite supernova remnants consist of a pulsar wind nebula located inside a shell-type remnant. The presence of a shell has implications on the evolution of the nebula, although the converse is generally not true. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. The first aim is to determine the effect of the pulsar’s initial luminosity and spin-down rate, the supernova ejecta mass, and density of the interstellar medium on the evolution of a spherically-symmetric, composite supernova remnant expanding into a homogeneous medium. The second aim is to investigate the evolution of the magnetic field in the pulsar wind nebula when the the composite remnant expands into a non-uniform interstellar medium. The Euler conservation equations for inviscid flow, together with the magnetohydrodynamic induction law in the kinematic limit, are solved numerically for a number of scenarios where the ratio of magnetic to particle energy is $\sigma < 0.01$. The simulations in the first part of the paper is solved in a one-dimensional configuration. In the second part of the paper, the effect of an inhomogeneous medium on the evolution is studied using a two-dimensional, axis-symmetric configuration.

Order and chaos in hydrodynamic BL Her models

Many dynamical systems of different complexity, e.g. 1D logistic map, the Lorentz equations, or real phenomena, like turbulent convection, show chaotic behaviour. Despite huge differences, the dynamical scenarios for these systems are strikingly similar: chaotic bands are born through the series of period doubling bifurcations and merge through interior crises. Within chaotic bands periodic windows are born through the tangent bifurcations, preceded by the intermittent behaviour. This is a universal behaviour of dynamical systems (Feigenbaum 1983). We demonstrate such behaviour in models of pulsating stars.

Scale-free primordial cosmology

The large-scale structure of the universe suggests that the physics underlying its early evolution is scale-free. This was the historic motivation for the Harrison-Zel’dovich-Peebles spectrum and for inflation. Based on a hydrodynamical approach, we identify scale-free forms for the background equation-of-state for both inflationary and cyclic scenarios and use these forms to derive predictions for the spectral tilt and tensor-to-scalar ratio of primordial density perturbations. For the case of inflation, we find three classes of scale-free models with distinct predictions. Including all classes, we show that scale-free inflation predicts tensor-to-scalar ratio $r > 10^{-4}$. We show that the observationally favored class is theoretically disfavored because it suffers from an initial conditions problem and the hydrodynamical form of an unlikeliness problem similar to that identified recently for certain inflaton potentials. We contrast these results with those for scale-free cyclic models.

Long-term polarization observations of Mira variable stars suggest asymmetric structures

Mira and semi-regular variable stars have been studied for centuries but continue to be enigmatic. One unsolved mystery is the presence of polarization from these stars. In particular, we present 40 years of polarization measurements for the prototype o Ceti and V CVn and find very different phenomena for each star. The polarization fraction and position angle for Mira is found to be small and highly variable. On the other hand, the polarization fraction for V CVn is large and variable, from 2 – 7 %, and its position angle is approximately constant, suggesting a long-term asymmetric structure. We suggest a number of potential scenarios to explain these observations.

Searches for axions with the EDELWEISS experiment [Cross-Listing]

The EDELWEISS experiment primarily aims at the direct detection of WIMPs using germanium bolometers. It is also sensitive to the low-energy electron recoils that would be induced by axions. We present new constraints on the couplings of axions using data from the EDELWEISS-II experiment. Using a total exposure of up to 448~kg.d, we searched for axion-induced electron recoils down to 2.5~keV within four scenarios involving different hypotheses on the origin and couplings of axions. We set a 95~\% CL limit on the coupling to photons $g_{A\gamma}<2.15\times 10^{-9}$~GeV$^{-1}$ in a mass range not fully covered by axion helioscopes. We constrain the coupling to electrons, $g_{Ae} < 2.59\times 10^{-11}$, similar to the more indirect solar neutrino bound. Finally we place a limit on $g_{Ae}\times g_{AN}^{\rm eff}<4.82 \times 10^{-17}$, where $g_{AN}^{\rm eff}$ is the effective axion-nucleon coupling for $^{57}$Fe. Combining these results we fully exclude the mass range $0.91\,{\rm eV}<m_A<80$~keV for DFSZ axions and $5.73\,{\rm eV}<m_A<40$~keV for KSVZ axions.

Emitting Electron Spectra and Acceleration Processes in the Jet of PKS 0447-439

We investigate the electron energy distributions (EEDs) and the corresponding acceleration processes in the jet of PKS 0447$-$439 and estimate its redshift through modeling its observed spectral energy distribution (SED) in the frame of a one-zone synchrotron-self Compton (SSC) model. Three EEDs formed in different acceleration scenarios are assumed: the power-law with exponential cut-off (PLC) EED (shock-acceleration scenario or the case of the EED approaching equilibrium in the stochastic-acceleration scenario), the log-parabolic (LP) EED (stochastic-acceleration scenario and the acceleration dominating) and the broken power law (BPL) EED (no acceleration scenario), and then the corresponding fluxes of both synchrotron and SSC are calculated. The model is applied to PKS 0447-439 and modeling SEDs are compared to the observed SED of this object by using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. Calculating results show that PLC model fails to fit the observed SED well, while the LP and BPL models give comparably good fits for the observed SED. The results indicate that it is possible that stochastic acceleration process acts in the emitting region of PKS 0447-439 and the EED is far from equilibrium (acceleration dominating) or no acceleration process works (in the emitting region). The redshift of PKS 0447-439 is also estimated in our fitting, and $z=0.16\pm0.05$ for LP case and $z=0.17\pm0.04$ for BPL case.

Probing the origin of the iron K_alpha line around stellar and supermassive black holes using X-ray polarimetry

Asymmetric, broad iron lines are a common feature in the X-ray spectra of both X-ray binaries (XRBs) and type-1 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). It was suggested that the distortion of the Fe K_alpha emission results from Doppler and relativistic effects affecting the radiative transfer close to the strong gravitational well of the central compact object: a stellar mass black hole (BH) or neutron star (NS) in the case of XRBs, or a super massive black hole (SMBH) in the case of AGN. However, alternative approaches based on reprocessing and transmission of radiation through surrounding media also attempt to explain the line broadening. So far, spectroscopic and timing analyzes have not yet convinced the whole community to discriminate between the two scenarios. Here we study to which extent X-ray polarimetric measurements of black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs) and type-1 AGN could help to identify the possible origin of the line distortion. To do so, we report on recent simulations obtained for the two BH flavors and show that the proposed scenarios are found to behave differently in polarization degree and polarization angle. A relativistic origin for the distortion is found to be more probable in the context of BHXRBs, supporting the idea that the same mechanism should lead the way also for AGN. We show that the discriminating polarization signal could have been detectable by several X-ray polarimetry missions proposed in the past.

Qatar-1: indications for possible transit timing variations

Variations in the timing of transiting exoplanets provide a powerful tool detecting additional planets in the system. Thus, the aim of this paper is to discuss the plausibility of transit timing variations on the Qatar-1 system by means of primary transit light curves analysis. Furthermore, we provide an interpretation of the timing variation. We observed Qatar-1 between March 2011 and October 2012 using the 1.2 m OLT telescope in Germany and the 0.6 m PTST telescope in Spain. We present 26 primary transits of the hot Jupiter Qatar-1b. In total, our light curves cover a baseline of 18 months. We report on indications for possible long-term transit timing variations (TTVs). Assuming that these TTVs are true, we present two different scenarios that could explain them. Our reported $\sim$ 190 days TTV signal can be reproduced by either a weak perturber in resonance with Qatar-1b, or by a massive body in the brown dwarf regime. More observations and radial velocity monitoring are required to better constrain the perturber’s characteristics. We also refine the ephemeris of Qatar-1b, which we find to be \mbox{$T_0 = 2456157.42204 \pm 0.0001$ \bjdtdb} and \mbox{$P = 1.4200246 \pm 0.0000007$ days}, and improve the system orbital parameters.

Noiseless Gravitational Lensing Simulations

The microphysical properties of the DM particle can, in principle, be constrained by the properties and abundance of substructures in DM halos, as measured through strong gravitational lensing. Unfortunately, there is a lack of accurate theoretical predictions for the lensing signal of substructures, mainly because of the discreteness noise inherent to N-body simulations. Here we present Recursive-TCM, a method that is able to provide lensing predictions with an arbitrarily low discreteness noise, without any free parameters or smoothing scale. This solution is based on a novel way of interpreting the results of N-body simulations, where particles simply trace the evolution and distortion of Lagrangian phase-space volume elements. We discuss the advantages of this method over the widely used cloud-in-cells and adaptive-kernel smoothing density estimators. Applying the new method to a cluster-sized DM halo simulated in warm and cold DM scenarios, we show how the expected differences in their substructure population translate into differences in the convergence and magnification maps. We anticipate that our method will provide the high-precision theoretical predictions required to interpret and fully exploit strong gravitational lensing observations.

Noiseless Gravitational Lensing Simulations [Replacement]

The microphysical properties of the DM particle can, in principle, be constrained by the properties and abundance of substructures in DM halos, as measured through strong gravitational lensing. Unfortunately, there is a lack of accurate theoretical predictions for the lensing signal of substructures, mainly because of the discreteness noise inherent to N-body simulations. Here we present Recursive-TCM, a method that is able to provide lensing predictions with an arbitrarily low discreteness noise, without any free parameters or smoothing scale. This solution is based on a novel way of interpreting the results of N-body simulations, where particles simply trace the evolution and distortion of Lagrangian phase-space volume elements. We discuss the advantages of this method over the widely used cloud-in-cells and adaptive-kernel smoothing density estimators. Applying the new method to a cluster-sized DM halo simulated in warm and cold DM scenarios, we show how the expected differences in their substructure population translate into differences in the convergence and magnification maps. We anticipate that our method will provide the high-precision theoretical predictions required to interpret and fully exploit strong gravitational lensing observations.

Kepler White Paper: Asteroseismology of Solar-Like Oscillators in a 2-Wheel Mission

We comment on the potential for continuing asteroseismology of solar-type and red-giant stars in a 2-wheel Kepler Mission. Our main conclusion is that by targeting stars in the ecliptic it should be possible to perform high-quality asteroseismology, as long as favorable scenarios for 2-wheel pointing performance are met. Targeting the ecliptic would potentially facilitate unique science that was not possible in the nominal Mission, notably from the study of clusters that are significantly brighter than those in the Kepler field. Our conclusions are based on predictions of 2-wheel observations made by a space photometry simulator, with information provided by the Kepler Project used as input to describe the degraded pointing scenarios. We find that elevated levels of frequency-dependent noise, consistent with the above scenarios, would have a significant negative impact on our ability to continue asteroseismic studies of solar-like oscillators in the Kepler field. However, the situation may be much more optimistic for observations in the ecliptic, provided that pointing resets of the spacecraft during regular desaturations of the two functioning reaction wheels are accurate at the < 1 arcsec level. This would make it possible to apply a post-hoc analysis that would recover most of the lost photometric precision. Without this post-hoc correction—and the accurate re-pointing it requires—the performance would probably be as poor as in the Kepler-field case. Critical to our conclusions for both fields is the assumed level of pointing noise (in the short-term jitter and the longer-term drift). We suggest that further tests will be needed to clarify our results once more detail and data on the expected pointing performance becomes available, and we offer our assistance in this work.

Oblique MHD shocks: space-like and time-like

Shock waves constitute discontinuities in matter which are relevant in studying the plasma behaviour in astrophysical scenarios and in heavy-ion collision. They can produce conical emission in relativistic collisions and are also thought to be the mechanism behind the acceleration of energetic particles in active galactic nuclei and gamma ray bursts. The shocks are mostly hydrodynamic shocks. In a magnetic background they become magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) shocks. For that reason we study the space-like and time-like shock discontinuity in a magnetic plasma. The shocks induce a phase transition in the plasma, here assuming a transition from hadron to quarks. The MHD conservation conditions are derived across the shock. The conservation conditions are solved for downstream velocities and flow angles for given upstream variables. The shock conditions are solved at different baryon densities. For the space-like shocks the anisotropy in the downstream velocity arises due to the magnetic field. The downstream velocity vector always points downward with respect to the shock normal. With the increase in density the anisotropy is somewhat reduced. The magnetic field has effectively no effect on time-like shocks. The slight anisotropy in the downstream flow velocities is caused by the boosting that brings the quantities from the fluid frame to normal incidence (NI) frame.

Formation and internal structure of superdense dark matter clumps and ultracompact minihaloes

We discuss the formation mechanisms and structure of the superdense dark matter clumps (SDMC) and ultracompact minihaloes (UCMH) and outline the differences between these types of DM objects. We define as SDMC the gravitationally bounded DM objects which have come into virial equilibrium at the radiation-dominated (RD) stage of the universe evolution. Such objects can form from the isocurvature (entropy) density perturbations or from the peaks in the spectrum of curvature (adiabatic) perturbation. The axion miniclusters (Kolb and Tkachev 1994) are the example of the former model. The system of central compact mass (e.g. in the form of SDMC or primordial black hole (PBH)) with the outer DM envelope formed in the process of secondary accretion we refer to as UCMH. Therefore, the SDMC can serve as the seed for the UCMH in some scenarios. Recently, the SDMC and UCMH were considered in the many works, and we try to systematize them here. We consider also the effect of asphericity of the initial density perturbation in the gravitational evolution, which decreases the SDMC amount and, as the result, suppresses the gamma-ray signal from DM annihilation.

Prospects for future very high-energy gamma-ray sky survey: impact of secondary gamma rays

Very high-energy gamma-ray measurements of distant blazars do not clearly show the signature of the attenuation due to the pair production with the extragalactic background light. Recent studies showed that these objects can be well explained by secondary gamma rays emitted by cascades induced by ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. The secondary gamma rays will enable one to detect a large number of blazars with future ground based gamma- ray telescopes such as Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). We show that the secondary emission process will allow CTA to detect 100, 130, 150, 87, and 8 blazars above 30 GeV, 100 GeV, 300 GeV, 1 TeV, and 10 TeV, respectively, up to z~8 assuming the intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF) strength B = 10^-17 G and an unbiased all sky survey with 0.5 hr exposure at each Field of View, where total observing time is ~540 hr. These numbers will be 79, 96, 110, 63, and 6 up to z~5 in the case of B = 10^-15 G. This large statistics of sources will be a clear evidence of the secondary gamma-ray scenarios and a new key to studying the IGMF statistically. We also find that a wider and shallower survey is favored to detect more and higher redshift sources even if we take into account secondary gamma rays.

Light NMSSM Neutralino Dark Matter in the Wake of CDMS II and a 126 GeV Higgs [Cross-Listing]

Recent results from the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment have renewed interest in light dark matter with a large spin-independent neutralino-nucleon scattering cross-section. Here, we examine the regions of the NMSSM capable of producing a light neutralino with a large direct detection cross-section, with scattering mediated by a light singlet-like scalar, and a 126 GeV Higgs consistent with the LHC results. We focus on two different scenarios for annihilation in the early universe, namely annihilation mediated by (1) a light scalar or by (2) a light pseudoscalar. We find that there exists viable parameter space in which a very light CP-even Higgs boson mediates both the neutralino-nucleon spin-independent elastic scattering and the neutralino pair-annihilation in the early universe. These regions can feature significant tree-level contributions to the SM-like Higgs mass and hence not require very heavy or highly-mixed stops. The strongest constraints in this case come from the decays of the SM-like Higgs boson into neutralinos and light, CP-even Higgs pairs. Accidental cancellations in the couplings allow for a SM-like Higgs with a total width and invisible branching fraction compatible with the observed Higgs boson, however the latter quantity tends to be sizeable. We also find that there exists parameter space in which annihilation in the early universe is mediated by a light pseudoscalar. This region generally requires heavier stops to obtain a 126 GeV Higgs and features small branching fractions of the SM-like Higgs to pairs of light scalars, pseudoscalars, and neutralinos, softening constraints from invisible decays and the inferred Higgs total width. We outline the relevant parameter space for both scenarios and comment on prospects for future discovery with various experiments.

Search for cosmic-ray induced $\gamma$-ray emission in Galaxy Clusters

Current theories predict relativistic hadronic particle populations in clusters of galaxies in addition to the already observed relativistic leptons. In these scenarios hadronic interactions give rise to neutral pions which decay into $\gamma$ rays, that are potentially observable with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi space telescope. We present a joint likelihood analysis searching for spatially extended $\gamma$-ray emission at the locations of 50 galaxy clusters in 4 years of Fermi-LAT data under the assumption of the universal cosmic-ray model proposed by Pinzke & Pfrommer (2010). We find an excess at a significance of $2.7\,\sigma$, which upon closer inspection is however correlated to individual excess emission towards three galaxy clusters: Abell 400, Abell 1367 and Abell 3112. We discuss these cases in detail and conservatively attribute the emission to unmodeled background (for example, radio galaxies within the clusters). Through the combined analysis of 50 clusters we exclude hadronic injection efficiencies in simple hadronic models above 25% and establish limits on the cosmic-ray to thermal pressure ratio within the virial radius, $R_{200}$, to be below 0.012-0.014 depending on the morphological classification. In addition we derive new limits on the $\gamma$-ray flux from individual clusters in our sample.

Precursors and Outbursts of A 0535+26 in 2009-2011 observed by the MAXI/GSC and the Swift/BAT

Over the 3-year active period from 2008 September to 2011 November, the outburst behavior of the Be/X-ray binary A 0535+26 was continuously monitored with the MAXI/GSC and the Swift/BAT. The source exhibited nine outbursts, every binary revolution of 111.1 days, of which two are categorized into the giant (type-II) outbursts. The recurrence period of these outbursts is found to be $\sim115$ days, significantly longer than the orbital period of 111.1 days. With the MAXI/GSC, a low-level active period, or a "precursor", was detected prior to at least four giant outbursts. The precursor recurrence period agrees with that of the giant outbursts. The period difference of the giant outbursts from the orbital period is possibly related with some structures in the circumstellar disc formed around the Be companion. Two scenarios, one based on a one-armed disc structure and the other a Be-disc precession, are discussed.

On the nature of CP Pup

We present new X-ray and optical spectra of the old nova CP Pup (nova Pup 1942) obtained with Chandra and the CTIO 4m telescope. The X-ray spectrum reveals a multi-temperature optically thin plasma reaching a maximum temperature of 36$^{+19}_{-16}$ keV absorbed by local complex neutral material. The time resolved optical spectroscopy confirms the presence of the $\sim$1.47 hr period, with cycle-to-cycle amplitude changes, as well as of an additional long term modulation which is suggestive either of a longer period or of non-Keplerian velocities in the emission line regions. These new observational facts add further support to CP Pup as a magnetic cataclysmic variable (mCV). We compare the mCV and the non-mCV scenarios and while we cannot conclude whether CP Pup is a long period system, all observational evidences point at an intermediate polar (IP) type CV.

The Hamburg/ESO R-process Enhanced Star survey (HERES) VIII. The r+s star HE 1405 0822

Aims.The aim of this study is a detailed abundance analysis of the newly discovered r-rich star HE 1405 0822, which has [Fe=H]=-2.40. This star shows enhancements of both r- and s-elements, [Ba/Fe]= +1.95 and [Eu/Fe]=1.54, for which reason it is called r+s star. Methods.Stellar parameters and element abundances were determined by analying high-quality VLT/UVES spectra. We used Fe I line excitation equilibria to derive the e?ective temperature. The surface gravity was calculated from the Fei/Feii and Ti I/Ti II equilibria. Results.We determined accurate abundances for 39 elements, including 19 neutron-capture elements. HE 1405-0822 is a red giant. Its strong enhancements of C, N, and s-elements are the consequence of enrichment by a former AGB companion with an initial mass of less than 3 M_Sun. The heavy n-capture element abundances (including Eu, Yb, and Hf) seen in HE 1405-0822 do not agree with the r-process pattern seen in strongly r-process-enhanced stars. We discuss possible enrichment scenarios for this star. The enhanced alpha elements can be explained as the result of enrichment by supernovae of type II. Na and Mg may have partly been synthesized in a former AGB companion, when the primary 22^Ne acted as a neutron poison in the 13^C-pocket.

WIMP Dark Matter and Neutrino Mass from Peccei-Quinn Symmetry [Cross-Listing]

The Peccei-Quinn anomalous global U(1)_{PQ} symmetry is important not only for solving the strong CP problem with a cosmologically relevant axion, but it may also be the origin of a residual Z_2 symmetry. This new symmetry may be responsible for a second component of dark matter composed of an absolutely stable Weakly Interacting Massive Particle, as well as for generating radiative neutrino mass. Two specific realizations of this idea are proposed. In these scenarios, dark matter detection is guaranteed at existing direct detection experiments or axion searches. Observable signals at the Large Hadron Collider are discussed.

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.

\nu-production in Centaurus A and M87 from \gamma-ray interactions with the gas and dust at the sources

Centaurus A and M87 are the closest galaxies with active galactic nuclei and TeV gamma-ray emission. The existence of such TeV radiation suggests the production of a neutrino flux from the photo- hadronic interactions of the gamma-photons of the active galaxies and their own gas and dust content. Using a simple model of Centaurus A and M87, the corresponding neutrino luminosities at source and their fluxes at Earth were calculated. The neutrino fluxes associated with the aforementioned process resulted to be $E^2 \Phi_{\nu + \bar{\nu}} < 10^{-13} s^{-1} GeV cm^{-2}$, more than 6 orders of magnitude below the modern upper limits from neutrino telescopes. It will be shown that, at high-energies relevant for neutrino astronomy, these neutrino fluxes are not competitive with those fluxes which could be produced from astrophysical scenarios involving cosmic ray acceleration.

Supersymmetry with Light Dark Matter confronting the recent CDMS and LHC Results [Cross-Listing]

We revisit MSSM scenarios with light neutralino as a dark matter candidate in view of the latest LHC and dark matter direct and indirect detection experiments. We show that scenarios with a very light neutralino (~ 10 GeV) and a scalar bottom quark close in mass, can satisfy all the available constraints from LEP, Tevatron, LHC, flavour and low energy experiments and provide solutions in agreement with the bulk of dark matter direct detection experiments, and in particular with the recent CDMS results.

Inflation induced by Gravitino Condensation in Supergravity [Cross-Listing]

We discuss the emergence of an inflationary phase in supergravity with the super-Higgs effect due to dynamical spontaneous breaking of supersymmetry, in which the role of the inflaton is played by the gravitino condensate. Realistic models compatible with the Planck satellite CMB data are found in conformal supergravity scenarios with dynamical gravitino masses that are small compared to the Planck mass, as could be induced by a non-trivial vacuum expectation value of the dilaton superfield of appropriate magnitude.

A general parametric model for the dynamic dark energy

In the present work we suggest new and more generalized parameterizations for the Equation of State, EoS, of dark energy, maintaining the basic structure of two-parameters CPL-model, but covering both the past and the future of the cosmic history, without divergences and consistently with the current observational data. We propose two generalizations, starting from the extended MZp-model by Ma and Zhang, 2011, the $\xi$MZp-model and the DFp-model. The potential advantages of using these new formulations is their extended range of validity, mainly in the future, to determine possible future scenarios of the cosmic evolution.

Reconciling 56Ni Production in Type Ia Supernovae with Double Degenerate Scenarios

Binary white dwarf (WD) coalescence driven by gravitational waves or collisions in triple systems are potential progenitors of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). We combine the distribution of 56Ni inferred from observations of SNe Ia with the results of both sub-Chandrasekhar detonation models and direct collision calculations to estimate what mass WDs should be exploding in each scenario to reproduce the observations. These WD mass distributions are then compared with the observed Galactic WD mass distribution and Monte Carlo simulations of WD-WD binary populations. For collisions, we find that the average mass of the individual components of the WD-WD binary must be peaked at ~0.75Msun, significantly higher than the average WD mass in binaries or in the field of ~0.55-0.60Msun. Thus, if collisions indeed produce a large fraction of SNe Ia, then a mechanism must exist that favors large mass WDs. In particular, collisions between WDs of average mass must be highly suppressed. For sub-Chandrasekhar detonations, we find that the average mass of the exploding WDs must be peaked at ~1.1Msun, consistent with the average sum of the masses in WD-WD binaries. This interesting similarity should be tested by future calculations of the 56Ni yield from double degenerate mergers. These models may also explain why SNe Ia are on average dimmer in early-type hosts: in old environments binaries evolve too quickly to have mergers between two high mass WDs at current times. As future simulations explore the 56Ni yield over a wider range of parameters, the general framework discussed here will be an important tool for continuing to assess double degenerate scenarios.

The phase lags of high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations in four black-hole candidates

We measured the phase-lag spectrum of the high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) in the black hole systems (at QPO frequencies) GRS 1915+105 (35 Hz and 67 Hz), GRO J1655-40 (300 Hz and 450 Hz), XTE J1550-564 (180 Hz and 280 Hz), and IGR J17091-3624 (67 Hz). The lag spectra of the 67-Hz QPO in, respectively, GRS 1915+105 and IGR J17091-3624, and the 450-Hz QPO in GRO J1655-40 are hard (hard photons lag the soft ones) and consistent with each other, with the hard lags increasing with energy. On the contrary, the lags of the 35-Hz QPO in GRS 1915+105 are soft, with the lags becoming softer as the energy increases; the lag spectrum of the 35-Hz QPO is inconsistent with that of the 67-Hz QPO. The lags of the 300-Hz QPO in GRO J1655-40, and the 180-Hz and the 280-Hz QPO in XTE J1550-564 are independent of energy, consistent with each other and with being zero or slightly positive (hard lags). For GRO J1655-40 the lag spectrum of the 300-Hz QPO differs significantly from that of the 450-Hz QPOs. The similarity of the lag spectra of the 180-Hz and 280-Hz QPO in XTE J1550-564 suggests that these two are the same QPO seen at a different frequency in different observations. The lag spectrum of the 67-Hz QPO in GRS 1915+105 is significantly different from that of the $2.7 \times 10^{-4}$ Hz QPO in the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy RE J1034+396, which disproves the suggestion that the two QPOs are the same physical phenomenon with their frequencies scaled only by the black-hole mass. The lag spectrum of the QPO in RE J1034+396 is similar to that of the 35-Hz QPO in GRS 1915+105, although identifying these two QPOs as being the same physical feature remains problematic. We compare our results with those for the lags of the kilohertz QPOs in neutron-star systems and the broadband noise component in active galactic nuclei, and discuss possible scenarios for producing the lags in these systems.

 

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