Testing eternal inflation with the kinetic Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect


Perhaps the most controversial idea in modern cosmology is that our observable universe is contained within one bubble among many, all inhabiting the eternally inflating multiverse. One of the few way to test this idea is to look for evidence of the relic inhomogeneities left by the collisions between other bubbles and our own. Such relic inhomogeneities induces a coherent bulk flow over gigaparsec scales. Therefore, bubble collisions leave unique imprints in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) through the kinetic Sunyaev Zel'dovich (kSZ) effect, temperature anisotropies induced by the scattering of photons from coherently moving free electrons in the diffuse intergalactic medium. The kSZ signature produced by bubble collisions has a unique directional dependence and is tightly correlated with the galaxy distribution; it can therefore be distinguished from other contributions to the CMB anisotropies. An important advantage of the kSZ signature is that it peaks on arcminute angular scales, where the limiting factors in making a detection are instrumental noise and foreground subtraction. This is in contrast to the collision signature in the primary CMB, which peaks on angular scales much larger than one degree, and whose detection is therefore limited by cosmic variance. In this paper, we examine the prospects for probing the inhomogeneities left by bubble collisions using the kSZ effect. We provide a forecast for detection using cross-correlations between CMB and galaxy surveys, finding that the detectability using the kSZ effect can be competitive with constraints from CMB temperature and polarization data.Comment: 33 pages, 17 figures. Minor clarifications added in version 2, conclusions are unchange

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