632 research outputs found

    Can Cosmic Shear Shed Light on Low Cosmic Microwave Background Multipoles?

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    The lowest multipole moments of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) are smaller than expected for a scale-invariant power spectrum. One possible explanation is a cutoff in the primordial power spectrum below a comoving scale of kc5.0×104k_c \simeq 5.0 \times 10^{-4} Mpc1^{-1}. This would affect not only the CMB but also the cosmic-shear (CS) distortion of the CMB. Such a cutoff increases significantly the cross-correlation between the large-angle CMB and cosmic-shear patterns. The cross-correlation may be detectable at >2σ> 2\sigma which, when combined with the low CMB moments, may tilt the balance between a 2σ2\sigma result and a firm detection of a large-scale power-spectrum cutoff. As an aside, we also note that the cutoff increases the large-angle cross-correlation between the CMB and low-redshift tracers of the mass distribution.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, revised statistical analysis, submitted to PR

    A new cosmic microwave background constraint to primordial gravitational waves

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    Primordial gravitational waves (GWs) with frequencies > 10^{-15} Hz contribute to the radiation density of the Universe at the time of decoupling of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The effects of this GW background on the CMB and matter power spectra are identical to those due to massless neutrinos, unless the initial density-perturbation amplitude for the gravitational-wave gas is non-adiabatic, as may occur if such GWs are produced during inflation or some post-inflation phase transition. In either case, current observations provide a constraint to the GW amplitude that competes with that from big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), although it extends to much lower frequencies (~10^{-15} Hz rather than the ~10^{-10} Hz lower limit from BBN): at 95% confidence-level, Omega_gw h^2 < 6.9 x 10^{-6} for homogeneous (i.e., non-adiabatic) initial conditions. Future CMB experiments, like Planck and CMBPol, should allow sensitivities to Omega_gw h^2 < 1.4 x 10^{-6} and Omega_gw h^2 < 5 x 10^{-7}, respectively.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev. Let

    Galactic Substructure and Dark Matter Annihilation in the Milky Way Halo

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    We study the effects of substructure on the rate of dark-matter annihilation in the Galactic halo. We use an analytic model for substructure that can extend numerical simulation results to scales too small to be resolved by the simulations. We first calibrate the analytic model to numerical simulations, and then determine the annihilation boost factor, for standard WIMP models as well as those with Sommerfeld (or other) enhancements, as a function of Galactocentric radius in the Milky Way. We provide an estimate of the dependence of the gamma-ray intensity of WIMP annihilation as a function of angular distance from the Galactic center. This methodology, coupled with future numerical simulation results can be a powerful tool that can be used to constrain WIMP properties using Fermi all-sky data.Comment: 10 pages, 7 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev. D; added a few reference

    Galactic Substructure and Energetic Neutrinos from the Sun and the Earth

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    We consider the effects of Galactic substructure on energetic neutrinos from annihilation of weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPs) that have been captured by the Sun and Earth. Substructure gives rise to a time-varying capture rate and thus to time variation in the annihilation rate and resulting energetic-neutrino flux. However, there may be a time lag between the capture and annihilation rates. The energetic-neutrino flux may then be determined by the density of dark matter in the Solar System's past trajectory, rather than the local density. The signature of such an effect may be sought in the ratio of the direct- to indirect-detection rates.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures. Replaced with version accepted for publicatio

    The Contribution of the First Stars to the Cosmic Infrared Background

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    We calculate the contribution to the cosmic infrared background from very massive metal-free stars at high redshift. We explore two plausible star-formation models and two limiting cases for the reprocessing of the ionizing stellar emission. We find that Population III stars may contribute significantly to the cosmic near-infrared background if the following conditions are met: (i) The first stars were massive, with M > ~100 M_sun. (ii) Molecular hydrogen can cool baryons in low-mass haloes. (iii) Pop III star formation is ongoing, and not shut off through negative feedback effects. (iv) Virialized haloes form stars at about 40 per cent efficiency up to the redshift of reionization, z~7. (v) The escape fraction of the ionizing radiation into the intergalactic medium is small. (vi) Nearly all of the stars end up in massive black holes without contributing to the metal enrichment of the Universe.Comment: 11 pages, 6 figures, expanded discussion, added mid-IR to Fig 6, MNRAS in pres

    Pure pseudo-C_l estimators for CMB B-modes

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    Fast heuristically weighted, or pseudo-C_l, estimators are a frequently used method for estimating power spectra in CMB surveys with large numbers of pixels. Recently, Challinor & Chon showed that the E-B mixing in these estimators can become a dominant contaminant at low noise levels, ultimately limiting the gravity wave signal which can be detected on a finite patch of sky. We define a modified version of the estimators which eliminates E-B mixing and is near-optimal at all noise levels.Comment: 9 pages and 3 figures; Proceedings of the Fundamental Physics With CMB workshop, UC Irvine, March 23-25, 2006, to be published in New Astronomy Review

    Geometry and Statistics of Cosmic Microwave Polarization

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    Geometrical and statistical properties of polarization of CMB are analyzed. Singular points of the vector field which describes CMB polarization are found and classified. Statistical distribution of the singularities is studied. A possible signature of tensor perturbations in CMB polarization is discussed. For a further analysis of CMB statistics Minkowski functionals are used, which present a technically simple method to search for deviations from a Gaussian distribution.Comment: 37 pages, 5 figures, submitted in Int.J.Mod.Phys.

    Metals at the surface of last scatter

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    Standard big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) predicts only a trace abundance of lithium and no heavier elements, but some alternatives predict a nonzero primordial metallicity. Here we explore whether CMB measurements may set useful constraints to the primordial metallicity and/or whether the standard CMB calculations are robust, within the tolerance of forthcoming CMB maps, to the possibility of primordial metals. Metals would affect the recombination history (and thus CMB power spectra) in three ways: (1) Lyα photons can be removed (and recombination thus accelerated) by photoionizing metals; (2) The Bowen resonance-fluorescence mechanism may degrade Lyβ photons and thus enhance the Lyβ escape probability and speed up recombination; (3) Metals could affect the low-redshift tail of the CMB visibility function by providing additional free electrons. The last two of these provide the strongest CMB signal. However, the effects are detectable in the Planck satellite only if the primordial metal abundance is at least a few hundredths of solar for (2) and a few tenths of solar for (3). We thus conclude that Planck will not be able to improve upon current constraints to primordial metallicity, at the level of a thousandth of solar, from the Lyman-α forest and ultra-metal-poor halo stars, and that the CMB power-spectrum predictions for Planck suffer no uncertainty arising from the possibility that there may be primordial metals

    First CMB Constraints on Direction-Dependent Cosmological Birefringence from WMAP-7

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    A Chern-Simons coupling of a new scalar field to electromagnetism may give rise to cosmological birefringence, a rotation of the linear polarization of electromagnetic waves as they propagate over cosmological distances. Prior work has sought this rotation, assuming the rotation angle to be uniform across the sky, by looking for the parity-violating TB and EB correlations a uniform rotation produces in the CMB temperature/polarization. However, if the scalar field that gives rise to cosmological birefringence has spatial fluctuations, then the rotation angle may vary across the sky. Here we search for direction-dependent cosmological birefringence in the WMAP-7 data. We report the first CMB constraint on the rotation-angle power spectrum for multipoles between L = 0 and L = 512. We also obtain a 68% confidence-level upper limit of 1 degree on the square root of the quadrupole of a scale-invariant rotation-angle power spectrum.Comment: 14 pages, 12 figures, 4 tables; accepted to PR
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