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Current models of the observable consequences of cosmic reionization and their detectability


Iliev, I T; Mellema, G; Pen, U L; Bond, J R; Shapiro, P R (2008). Current models of the observable consequences of cosmic reionization and their detectability. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 384(3):863-874.

Abstract

A number of large current experiments aim to detect the signatures of the cosmic reionization at redshifts z > 6. Their success depends crucially on understanding the character of the reionization process and its observable consequences and designing the best strategies to use. We use large-scale simulations of cosmic reionization to evaluate the reionization signatures at redshifted 21-cm and small-scale cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies in the best current model for the background universe, with fundamental cosmological parameters given by Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe three-year results. We find that the optimal frequency range for observing the 'global step' of the 21-cm emission is 120–150 MHz, while statistical studies should aim at 140–160 MHz, observable by GMRT. Some strongly non-Gaussian brightness features should be detectable at frequencies up to ∼190 MHz. In terms of sensitivity-signal trade-off relatively low resolutions, corresponding to beams of at least a few arcminutes, are preferable. The CMB anisotropy signal from the kinetic Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect from reionized patches peaks at tens of μK at arcminute scales and has an rms of ∼1 μK, and should be observable by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the South Pole Telescope. We discuss the various observational issues and the uncertainties involved, mostly related to the poorly known reionization parameters and, to a lesser extend, to the uncertainties in the background cosmology.

A number of large current experiments aim to detect the signatures of the cosmic reionization at redshifts z > 6. Their success depends crucially on understanding the character of the reionization process and its observable consequences and designing the best strategies to use. We use large-scale simulations of cosmic reionization to evaluate the reionization signatures at redshifted 21-cm and small-scale cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies in the best current model for the background universe, with fundamental cosmological parameters given by Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe three-year results. We find that the optimal frequency range for observing the 'global step' of the 21-cm emission is 120–150 MHz, while statistical studies should aim at 140–160 MHz, observable by GMRT. Some strongly non-Gaussian brightness features should be detectable at frequencies up to ∼190 MHz. In terms of sensitivity-signal trade-off relatively low resolutions, corresponding to beams of at least a few arcminutes, are preferable. The CMB anisotropy signal from the kinetic Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect from reionized patches peaks at tens of μK at arcminute scales and has an rms of ∼1 μK, and should be observable by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the South Pole Telescope. We discuss the various observational issues and the uncertainties involved, mostly related to the poorly known reionization parameters and, to a lesser extend, to the uncertainties in the background cosmology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:March 2008
Deposited On:10 Mar 2009 11:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:06
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0035-8711
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12629.x
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0702099
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-16519

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