Primordial anisotropies from cosmic strings during inflation [CEA]

In this work we study the imprints of a primordial cosmic string on inflationary power spectrum. Cosmic string induces two distinct contributions on curvature perturbations power spectrum. The first type of correction respects the translation invariance while violating isotropy. This generates quadrupolar statistical anisotropy in CMB maps which is constrained by the Planck data. The second contribution breaks both homogeneity and isotropy, generating a dipolar power asymmetry in variance of temperature fluctuations with its amplitude falling on small scales. We show that the strongest constraint on the tension of string is obtained from the quadrupolar anisotropy and argue that the mass scale of underlying theory responsible for the formation of string can not be much higher than the GUT scale. The predictions of string for the diagonal and off-diagonal components of CMB angular power spectrum are presented.

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S. Jazayeri, A. Sadr and H. Firouzjahi
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 25 pages, 6 figures

Constraining holographic cosmology using Planck data [CEA]

Holographic cosmology offers a novel framework for describing the very early Universe in which cosmological predictions are expressed in terms of the observables of a three dimensional quantum field theory (QFT). This framework includes conventional slow-roll inflation, which is described in terms of a strongly coupled QFT, but it also allows for qualitatively new models for the very early Universe, where the dual QFT may be weakly coupled. The new models describe a universe which is non-geometric at early times. While standard slow-roll inflation leads to a (near-)power-law primordial power spectrum, perturbative superrenormalizable QFT’s yield a new holographic spectral shape. Here, we compare the two predictions against cosmological observations. We use CosmoMC to determine the best fit parameters, and MultiNest for Bayesian Evidence, comparing the likelihoods. We find that the dual QFT should be non-perturbative at the very low multipoles ($l \lesssim 30$), while for higher multipoles ($l \gtrsim 30$) the new holographic model, based on perturbative QFT, fits the data just as well as the standard power-law spectrum assumed in $\Lambda$CDM cosmology. This finding opens the door to applications of non-perturbative QFT techniques, such as lattice simulations, to observational cosmology on gigaparsec scales and beyond.

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N. Afshordi, E. Gould and K. Skenderis
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 25 pages, 10 figures

Charged massive scalar field configurations supported by a spherically symmetric charged reflecting shell [CL]

The physical properties of bound-state charged massive scalar field configurations linearly coupled to a spherically symmetric charged reflecting shell are studied {\it analytically}. To that end, we solve the Klein-Gordon wave equation for a static scalar field of proper mass $\mu$, charge coupling constant $q$, and spherical harmonic index $l$ in the background of a charged shell of radius $R$ and electric charge $Q$. It is proved that the dimensionless inequality $\mu R<\sqrt{(qQ)^2-(l+1/2)^2}$ provides an upper bound on the regime of existence of the composed charged-spherical-shell-charged-massive-scalar-field configurations. Interestingly, we explicitly show that the {\it discrete} spectrum of shell radii $\{R_n(\mu,qQ,l)\}_{n=0}^{n=\infty}$ which can support the static bound-state charged massive scalar field configurations can be determined analytically. We confirm our analytical results by numerical computations.

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S. Hod
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 8 pages

Lectures on the Infrared Structure of Gravity and Gauge Theory [CL]

This is a redacted transcript of a course given by the author at Harvard in spring semester 2016. It contains a pedagogical overview of recent developments connecting the subjects of soft theorems, the memory effect and asymptotic symmetries in four-dimensional QED, nonabelian gauge theory and gravity with applications to black holes. The lectures may be viewed online at Please send typos or corrections to

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A. Strominger
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 154 pages, 21 figures

Pulsar Timing Constraints on Physics Beyond the Standard Model [CL]

We argue that massive quantum fields source low-frequency long-wavelength metric fluctuations through the quantum fluctuations of their stress-energy, given reasonable assumptions about the analytic structure of its correlators. This can be traced back to the non-local nature of the gauge symmetry in General Relativity, which prevents an efficient screening of UV scales (what we call the cosmological non-constant problem). We define a covariant and gauge-invariant observable which probes line-of-sight spacetime curvature fluctuations on an observer’s past lightcone, and show that current pulsar timing data constrains any massive particle to $m\lesssim 600$ GeV. This astrophysical bound severely limits the possibilities for physics beyond the standard model below the scale of quantum gravity.

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N. Afshordi, H. Kim and E. Nelson
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures; comments welcome

Study of statistical properties of hybrid statistic in coherent multi-detector compact binary coalescences Search [CL]

In this article, we revisit the problem of coherent multi-detector search of gravitational wave from compact binary coalescence with Neutron stars and Black Holes using advanced interferometers like LIGO-Virgo. Based on the loss of optimal multi-detector signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), we construct a hybrid statistic as a best of maximum-likelihood-ratio(MLR) statistic tuned for face-on and face-off binaries. The statistical properties of the hybrid statistic is studied. The performance of this hybrid statistic is compared with that of the coherent MLR statistic for generic inclination angles. Owing to the single synthetic data stream, the hybrid statistic gives low false alarms compared to the multi-detector MLR statistic and small fractional loss in the optimum SNR for a large range of binary inclinations. We have demonstrated that for a LIGO-Virgo network and binary inclination, \epsilon < 70 deg. and \epsilon > 110 deg., the hybrid statistic captures more than 98% of network optimum matched filter SNR with low false alarm rate. The Monte-Carlo exercise with two distributions of incoming inclination angles namely, U[cos(\epsilon)] and more realistic distribution proposed by B. F. Schutz are performed with hybrid statistic and gave ~5% and ~7% higher detection probability respectively compared to the two stream multi-detector MLR statistic for a fixed false alarm probability of 10^-5.

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K. Haris and A. Pai
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Published in Phys. Rev. D

Yet another introduction to relativistic astrophysics [HEAP]

Late Winter Lecture Notes, Short Course (10 hours) of Relativistic Astrophysics held at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Padova, March 13-17, 2017.

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L. Foschini
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 132 pages