All publications

CMB Science: Opportunities for a Cryogenic Filter-Bank Spectrometer

Date of publication: 

2016-01-06 15:00:00

Author: 

A. Tartari , E. S. Battistelli, M. Piat, D. Prêle

Abstract

Cosmic microwave background (CMB) spectral science is experiencing a renewed interest after the impressive result of COBE–FIRAS in the early Nineties. In 2011, the PIXIE proposal contributed to reopen the prospect of measuring deviations from a perfect 2.725 K planckian spectrum. Both COBE–FIRAS and PIXIE are differential Fourier transform spectrometers (FTSes) capable to operate in the null condition across ∼2 frequency decades (in the case of PIXIE, the frequency span is 30 GHz–6 THz). We discuss a complementary strategy to observe CMB spectral distortions at frequencies lower than 250 GHz, down to the Rayleigh–Jeans tail of the spectrum. The throughput advantage that makes the FTS capable of achieving exquisite sensitivity via multimode operation becomes limited at lower frequencies. We demonstrate that an array of 100 cryogenic planar filter-bank spectrometers coupled to single mode antennas, on a purely statistical ground, can perform better than an FTS between tens of GHz and 200 GHz (a relevant frequency window for cosmology) in the hypothesis that (1) both instruments have the same frequency resolution and (2) both instruments are operated at the photon noise limit (with the FTS frequency band extending from ∼tens of GHz up to 1 THz). We discuss possible limitations of these hypotheses, and the constraints that have to be fulfilled (mainly in terms of efficiency) in order to operate a cryogenic filter-bank spectrometer close to its ultimate sensitivity limit.

Direct search for features in the primordial bispectrum

Date of publication: 

2015-12-29 23:00:00

Author: 

Stephen Appleby, Jinn-Ouk Gong, Dhiraj Kumar Hazra, Arman Shafieloo, Spyros Sypsas

We study features in the bispectrum of the primordial curvature perturbation correlated with the reconstructed primordial power spectrum from the observed cosmic microwave background temperature data. We first show how the bispectrum can be completely specified in terms of the power spectrum and its first two derivatives, valid for any configuration of interest. Then using a model-independent reconstruction of the primordial power spectrum from the Planck angular power spectrum of temperature anisotropies, we compute the bispectrum in different triangular configurations. We find that in the squeezed limit at k ~ 0.1/Mpc and k ~ 0.013/Mpc there are marginal 2sigma deviations from the standard featureless bispectrum, which meanwhile is consistent with the reconstructed bispectrum in the equilateral configuration.

LEKIDs as mm-Wave Polarisation Analysers: Fabrication, Test Bench and Early Results

Date of publication: 

2015-12-29 11:00:00

Author: 

A. Tartari , B. Bélier, N. Bleurvacq, M. Calvo, D. Cammilleri, T. Decourcelle, A. Monfardini, I. Moric, M. Piat, D. Prêle, G. F. Smoot

We have demonstrated in an earlier paper that LEKIDs can be used in a polarisation selective way in a filled array configuration. A polarised response can be achieved by means of thick Nb polarising grids lithographed on the rear side of a 300 microns silicon wafer, on which Al resonators have been previously patterned. In the most interesting scheme that we have investigated, a unit cell formed by 4 pixels (2 by 2) responds simultaneously to two orthogonal (cartesian) polarisation states. To assess the effectiveness of this detection scheme, we have fabricated a first generation of devices (9 small arrays, 20–25 pixels each, on a 4′′ Silicon wafer) by using a double-sided mask aligner suitable for a precise positioning of the individual grids in correspondence of each resonator’s meander, for the different LEKID geometries. We describe here the realisation of these first devices. The construction of a dedicated polarimetric test bench is also described in this contribution, together with the first characterisation results. We consider this activity as a first and necessary step to evaluate the polarisation purity attainable with polarisation-sensitive pixels whose size is comparable to the wavelength. This is a fundamental information to drive further studies.

QUBIC: A Fizeau Interferometer Targeting Primordial B-Modes

Date of publication: 

2015-12-28 23:30:00

Author: 

A. Tartari , J. Aumont, S. Banfi, P. Battaglia, E. S. Battistelli, A. Baù, B. Bélier, D. Bennett, L. BergéAffiliated with CSNSM, Univ Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3 and 67 more

Q and U Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology (QUBIC) is a Fizeau interferometer sensitive to linear polarisation, to be deployed at the Antarctic station of Dome C. This experiment in its final configuration will be operated at 97, 150 and 220 GHz and is intended to target CMB primordial B-modes in a multipole window 20<ℓ<150. A sensitivity of r=0.05 (95 % CL) can be reached by the first module alone, after 2 years of operation. Here we review in particular its working principles, and we show how the QUBIC interferometric configuration can be considered equivalent to a pupil-plane filtered imaging system. In this context, we show how our instrument can be self-calibrated. Finally, we conclude by showing an overview of the first dual-band module (150/220 GHz), which will serve also as a demonstrator for the subsequent units, and review the technological choices we made for each subsystem, with particular emphasis on the detection system.

A simple model for the evolution of a non-Abelian cosmic string network

Date of publication: 

2015-12-07 14:00:00

Author: 

Giancarlo Cella, Mauro Pieroni

Abstract

In this paper we present the results of numerical simulations intended to study the behavior of non-Abelian cosmic strings networks. In particular we are interested in discussing the variations in the asymptotic behavior of the system as we variate the number of generators for the topological defects. A simple model which should generate cosmic strings is presented and its lattice discretization is discussed. The evolution of the generated cosmic string networks is then studied for different values for the number of generators for the topological defects. Scaling solution appears to be approached in most cases and we present an argument to justify the lack of scaling for the residual cases.

β-function formalism for inflationary models with a non minimal coupling with gravity

Date of publication: 

2015-10-12 14:00:00

Author: 

Mauro Pieroni

Abstract

We discuss the introduction of a non minimal coupling between the inflaton and gravity in terms of our recently proposed β-function formalism for inflation. Via a field redefinition we reduce to the case of minimally coupled theories. The universal attractor at strong coupling has a simple explanation in terms of the new field. Generalizations are discussed and the possibility of evading the universal attractor is shown.

Probing Massive Stars Around Gamma-Ray Burst Progenitors

Date of publication: 

2015-08-25 22:00:00

Author: 

Wenbin Lu, Pawan Kumar, George F. Smoot

Long Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are produced by ultra-relativistic jets launched from core collapse of massive stars. Most massive stars form in binaries and/or in star clusters, which means that there may be a significant external photon field (EPF) around the GRB progenitor. We calculate the inverse-Compton scattering of EPF by the hot electrons in the GRB jet. Three possible cases of EPFs are considered: the progenitor is (I) in a massive binary system, (II) surrounded by a Wolf-Rayet-star wind, and (III) in a dense star cluster. Typical luminosities of 10^46 - 10^50 erg/s in the 1 - 100 GeV band are expected, depending on the stellar luminosity, binary separation (I), wind mass loss rate (II), stellar number density (III), etc. We calculate the lightcurve and spectrum in each case, taking fully into account the equal-arrival time surfaces and possible pair-production absorption with the prompt gamma-rays. Observations can put constraints on the existence of such EPFs (and hence on the nature of GRB progenitors) and on the radius where the jet internal dissipation process accelerates electrons.

Hydrodynamic simulations of the interaction of supernova shock waves with a clumpy environment: the case of the RX J0852.0-4622 (Vela Jr) supernova remnant

Date of publication: 

2014-08-05 09:45:00

Author: 

M. Obergaulinger, A. Iyudin, E. Müller, G.F. Smoot

Abstract (arXiv)

Observations in all electromagnetic bands show that many supernova remnants (SNRs) have a very aspherical shape. This can be the result of asymmetries in the supernova explosion or a clumpy circumstellar medium. We study the generation of inhomogeneities and the mixing of elements arising from these two sources in multidimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the propagation of a supernova blast wave into a cloudy environment. We model a specific SNR, Vela Jr (RX J0852.0-4622). By comparing our results with recent observations, we can constrain the properties of the explosion. We find that a very energetic explosion of several 10^{51} erg occurring roughly about 800 years ago is consistent with the shape and emission of the SNR, as well as a supernova with an energy closer to the canonical value of 10^{51} erg a few thousand years ago.

A mm-Wave Polarisation Analyser Using LEKIDs: Strategy and Preliminary Numerical Results

Date of publication: 

2014-08-01 14:00:00

Author: 

A. Tartari, B. Belier, M. Calvo, V. D. Cammilleri, A. Monfardini, M. Piat, D. Prêle, G.F. Smoot

Abstract The context of this study is the development of polarisation sensitive detectors in view of future Cosmic Microwave Background experiments. Our goal is to demonstrate the possibility to make a mm-wave polarisation analyser at 150 GHz using Lumped Element Kinetic Inductance Detectors (LEKIDs). Although LEKIDs are very attractive for the relative ease of fabrication, they have an intrinsic optical response which is weakly polarisation-senstive, i.e. orthogonal linear polarisations are absorbed with comparable efficiencies (with a separation typically not exceeding few dB). To overcome this difficulty, we achieve a polarised response by means of small ( ∼λ×λ) superconducting Nb wire-grids. Each grid is deposited on the rear side of the 300 micron Si substrate, on which 20 nm Al resonators are patterned, so that each pixel may in principle respond as an independent polarisation analyser. Simulations show encouraging results, with a deep (-20 dB) rejection of the unwanted polarisation. Although what we present here is not yet a polarimeter, this pilot study allows us to address some relevant questions that may be crucial in view of a full polarimetric architecture development. In particular, our first prototypes will allow to assess the behaviour of small grids, the interaction between adjacent polarised pixels, and to choose the most suitable resonator geometry. What we present here are preliminary design results about devices which are currently being realised, and soon ready for optical response characterisation. Journal of Low Temperature Physics August 2014, Volume 176, Issue 3-4, pp 524-529

21-cm Intensity Mapping with FAST

Date of publication: 

2014-07-15 13:15:00

Author: 

George F. Smoot, Ivan Debono

Abstract (arXiv)
This paper describes a program to map large-scale cosmic structures on the largest possible scales by using FAST\cite{Nan:2011} to make a 21-cm (red-shifted) Intensity Map of the sky for the range 0.5

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