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

Secluded and Flipped Dark Matter and Stueckelberg Extensions of the Standard Model [CL]

We consider here three dark matter models with the gauge symmetry of the standard model plus an additional local $U(1)_D$ factor. One model is secluded and two models are flipped. All of these models include one dark fermion and one vector boson that attains mass through the Stueckelberg mechanism. We show that the flipped models provide examples dark matter composed of “least interacting particles” (LIPs). Such particles are therefore compatible with the constraints obtained from both laboratory measurements and astrophysical observations.

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E. Fortes, V. Pleitez and F. Stecker
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 6 pages, no figures

Dirac states of an electron in a circular intense magnetic field [HEAP]

Neutron-star magnetospheres are structured by very intense magnetic fields extending from 100 to 10 5 km traveled by very energetic electrons and positrons with Lorentz factors up to $\sim$ 10 7. In this context, particles are forced to travel almost along the magnetic field with very small gyro-motion, potentially reaching the quantified regime. We describe the state of Dirac particles in a locally uniform, constant and curved magnetic field in the approximation that the Larmor radius is very small compared to the radius of curvature of the magnetic field lines. We obtain a result that admits the usual relativistic Landau states as a limit of null curvature. We will describe the radiation of these states, that we call quantum curvature or synchro-curvature radiation, in an upcoming paper.

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G. Voisin, S. Bonazzola and F. Mottez
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: N/A