Agnostic Stacking of Intergalactic Doublet Absorption: Measuring the NeVIII Population [CEA]

We present a blind search for doublet intergalactic metal absorption with a method we dub `agnostic stacking’. Using forward-modelling we combine it with direct detections in the literature to measure the overall metal population. Here we apply this novel approach to the search for NeVIII in 26 high-quality COS spectra of QSOs at z>0.7. We probe an unprecedented low limit of log N>12.3 at 0.47<z<1.34 with a total pathlength ${\Delta}$z = 7.36. The method selects absorption without requiring knowledge of its source, be it observing noise, artifacts, or any line transition. Stacking this mixed population with NeVIII absorption dilutes doublet features in composite spectra in a deterministic manner. We stack potential NeVIII absorption in two regimes: absorption too weak to be statistically significant in direct line studies (12.3 < log N< 13.7), and strong absorbers (log N> 13.7). We do not detect NeVIII in either regime, and place upper limits on the population using agnostic stacking alone. Combining our measurements with direct line detections, the NeVIII population is reproduced with a single power law column density distribution of slope \b{eta} = -1.86 and normalisation log f_{13.7} = -13.99, leading to an incidence rate of strong NeVIII absorbers of dn/dz =1.38. Comparing our results with a group of 3 systems in PG1148+549, these have a 0.024% probability of arising by chance. We infer a cosmic mass density for NeVIII in the column density range 12.3 < log N < 15.0 of ${\Omega}$(NeVIII) = 2.2×10^{-8}. We translate this inferred density into an estimate of the baryon density of the NeVIII-bearing gas, and arrive at ${\Omega}b~1.8×10^{-3}$, which constitutes only 4% of the total baryonic mass. The measured NeVIII column density distribution function and cosmic density here are inconsistent with predictions of the EAGLES simulations at ${\sigma}>2.0$ significance. (abridged)

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S. Frank, M. Pieri, S. Mathur, et. al.
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: 17 pages, 12 figures

Gravitational collapse in the Schrödinger-Poisson system [CEA]

We perform a quantitative comparison between N-body simulations and the Schr\”odinger-Poisson system in 1+1 dimensions. In particular, we study halo formation with different initial conditions. We observe the convergence of various observables in the Planck constant h-bar and also test virialization. We discuss the generation of higher order cumulants of the particle distribution function which demonstrates that the Schr\”odinger-Poisson equations should not be perceived as a generalization of the dust model with quantum pressure but rather as one way of sampling the phase space of the Vlasov-Poisson system — just as N-body simulations. Finally, we quantitatively recover the scaling behavior of the halo density profile from N-body simulations.

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M. Garny and T. Konstandin
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: 18 pages, 7 figures

Constraints from microlensing experiments on clustered primordial black holes [CEA]

It has recently been proposed that massive primordial black holes (PBH) could constitute all of the dark matter, providing a novel scenario of structure formation, with early reionization and a rapid growth of the massive black holes at the center of galaxies and dark matter halos. The scenario arises from broad peaks in the primordial power spectrum that give both a spatially clustered and an extended mass distribution of PBH. The constraints from the observed microlensing events on the extended mass function have already been addressed. Here we study the impact of spatial clustering on the microlensing constraints. We find that the bounds can be relaxed significantly for relatively broad mass distributions if the number of primordial black holes within each cluster is typically above one hundred. On the other hand, even if they arise from individual black holes within the cluster, the bounds from CMB anisotropies are less stringent due to the enhanced black hole velocity in such dense clusters. This way, the window between a few and ten solar masses has opened up for PBH to comprise the totality of the dark matter.

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J. Garcia-Bellido and S. Clesse
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, comments welcome

Charge exchange in galaxy clusters [HEAP]

Though theoretically expected, the charge exchange emission from galaxy clusters has not yet been confidently detected. Accumulating hints were reported recently, including a rather marginal detection with the Hitomi data of the Perseus cluster. As suggested in Gu et al. (2015), a detection of charge exchange line emission from galaxy clusters would not only impact the interpretation of the newly-discovered 3.5 keV line, but also open up a new research topic on the interaction between hot and cold matter in clusters. We aim to perform the most systematic search for the O VIII charge exchange line in cluster spectra using the RGS on board XMM. We introduce a sample of 21 clusters observed with the RGS. The dominating thermal plasma emission is modeled and subtracted with a two-temperature CIE component, and the residuals are stacked for the line search. The systematic uncertainties in the fits are quantified by refitting the spectra with a varying continuum and line broadening. By the residual stacking, we do find a hint of a line-like feature at 14.82 A, the characteristic wavelength expected for oxygen charge exchange. This feature has a marginal significance of 2.8 sigma, and the average equivalent width is 2.5E-4 keV. We further demonstrate that the putative feature can be hardly affected by the systematic errors from continuum modelling and instrumental effects, or the atomic uncertainties of the neighbouring thermal lines. Assuming a realistic temperature and abundance pattern, the physical model implied by the possible oxygen line agrees well with the theoretical model proposed previously to explain the reported 3.5 keV line. If the charge exchange source indeed exists, we would expect that the oxygen abundance is potentially overestimated by 8-22% in previous X-ray measurements which assumed pure thermal lines.

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L. Gu, J. Mao, J. Plaa, et. al.
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: accepted for publication in A&A

Analysis of Dark Matter Axion Clumps with Spherical Symmetry [CL]

Recently there has been much interest in the spatial distribution of light scalar dark matter, especially axions, throughout the universe. When the local gravitational interactions between the scalar modes are sufficiently rapid, it can cause the field to re-organize into a BEC of gravitationally bound clumps. While these clumps are stable when only gravitation is included, the picture is complicated by the presence of the axion’s attractive self-interactions, which can potentially cause the clumps to collapse. Here we perform a detailed stability analysis to determine under what conditions the clumps are stable. In this paper we focus on spherical configurations, leaving aspherical configurations for future work. We identify branches of clump solutions of the axion-gravity-self-interacting system and study their stability properties. We find that clumps that are (spatially) large are stable, while clumps that are (spatially) small are unstable and may collapse. Furthermore, there is a maximum number of particles that can be in a clump. We map out the full space of solutions, which includes quasi-stable axitons, and clarify how a recent claim in the literature of a new ultra-dense branch of stable solutions rests on an invalid use of the non-relativistic approximation. We also consider repulsive self-interactions that may arise from a generic scalar dark matter candidate, finding a single stable branch that extends to arbitrary particle number.

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E. Schiappacasse and M. Hertzberg
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: 31 pages, 8 figures

Diagnosing holographic type dark energy models with the Statefinder hierarchy, composite null diagnostic and $w-w'$ pair [CEA]

The main purpose of this work is to distinguish various holographic type dark energy (DE) models, including the $\Lambda$HDE, HDE, NADE and RDE model, by using various diagnostic tools. The first diagnostic tool is the Statefinder hierarchy, in which the evolution of Statefinder hierarchy parmeter $S^{(1)}3(z)$ and $S^{(1)}_4(z)$ are studied. The second is composite null diagnostic (CND), in which the trajectories of ${S^{(1)}_3, \epsilon}$ and ${S^{(1)}_4, \epsilon}$ are investigated, where $\epsilon$ is the fractional growth parameter. The last is $w-w’$ analysis, where $w$ is the equation of state for DE and the prime denotes derivative with respect to $ln a$. In the analysis we consider two cases: varying current fractional DE density $\Omega{de0}$ and varying DE model parameter $C$. We find that: (1) Both the Statefinder hierarchy and the CND have qualitative impact on $\Lambda$HDE, but only have quantitative impact on HDE. (2) $S_4^{(1)}$ can lead to larger differences than $S_3^{(1)}$, while the CND pair has a stronger ability to distinguish different models than the Statefinder hierarchy. (3) For the case of varying $C$, the ${w, w’}$ pair has qualitative impact on $\Lambda$HDE; for the case of varying $\Omega_{de0}$, the ${w, w’}$ pair only has quantitative impact; these results are different from the cases of HDE, RDE and NADE, in which the ${w, w’}$ pair only has quantitative impact on these models. In conclusion, compared with HDE, RDE and NADE, the $\Lambda$HDE model can be easily distinguished by using these diagnostic tools.

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Z. Zhao and S. Wang
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: 12 pages, 8 figures, accepted by Sci. China Phys. Mech. Astron

Generalized framework for testing gravity with gravitational-wave propagation [CL]

The direct detection of gravitational waves (GW) from merging binary black holes marks the beginning of a new era in gravitational physics, and it brings forth new opportunities to test theories of gravity. To this end, it is crucial to search for anomalous deviations from general relativity in a model-independent way, irrespective of gravity theories, GW sources, and background spacetimes. In this paper, we propose a new universal framework for testing gravity with GW, based on the generalized propagation of a GW in an effective field theory that describes modification of gravity at cosmological scales. Then we perform a parameter estimation study, showing how well the future observation of GW can constrain the model parameters in the generalized models of GW propagation.

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A. Nishizawa
Mon, 16 Oct 17

Comments: 15 pages, 4 figures