The origin of astrophysical magnetic fields observed in galaxies and clusters of galaxies is still unclear. One possibility is that primordial magnetic fields generated in the early Universe provide seeds that grow through compression and turbulence during structure formation. A cosmological magnetic field present prior to recombination would produce substantial matter clustering at intermediate/small scales, on top of the standard inflationary power spectrum. In this work we study the effect of this alteration on one particular cosmological observable, cosmic shear. We adopt the semi-analytic halo model in order to describe the non-linear clustering of matter, and feed it with the altered mass variance induced by primordial magnetic fields. We find that the convergence power spectrum is, as expected, substantially enhanced at intermediate/small angular scales, with the exact amplitude of the enhancement depending on the magnitude and power-law index of the magnetic field power spectrum. Specifically, for a fixed amplitude, the effect of magnetic fields is larger for larger spectral indices. We use the predicted statistical errors for a future wide-field cosmic shear survey, on the model of the ESA Cosmic Vision mission Euclid, in order to forecast constraints on the amplitude of primordial magnetic fields as a function of the spectral index. We find that the amplitude will be constrained at the level of ~ 0.1 nG for nB ~ -3, and at the level of ~ 10-7 nG for nB ~ 3. The latter is at the same level of lower bounds coming from the secondary emission of gamma-ray sources, implying that for high spectral indices Euclid will certainly be able to detect primordial magnetic fields, if they exist. The present study shows how large-scale structure surveys can be used for both understanding the origins of astrophysical magnetic fields and shedding new light on the physics of the pre-recombination Universe.

Constraining primordial magnetic fields with future cosmic shear surveys

FEDELI, COSIMO;MOSCARDINI, LAURO
2012

Abstract

The origin of astrophysical magnetic fields observed in galaxies and clusters of galaxies is still unclear. One possibility is that primordial magnetic fields generated in the early Universe provide seeds that grow through compression and turbulence during structure formation. A cosmological magnetic field present prior to recombination would produce substantial matter clustering at intermediate/small scales, on top of the standard inflationary power spectrum. In this work we study the effect of this alteration on one particular cosmological observable, cosmic shear. We adopt the semi-analytic halo model in order to describe the non-linear clustering of matter, and feed it with the altered mass variance induced by primordial magnetic fields. We find that the convergence power spectrum is, as expected, substantially enhanced at intermediate/small angular scales, with the exact amplitude of the enhancement depending on the magnitude and power-law index of the magnetic field power spectrum. Specifically, for a fixed amplitude, the effect of magnetic fields is larger for larger spectral indices. We use the predicted statistical errors for a future wide-field cosmic shear survey, on the model of the ESA Cosmic Vision mission Euclid, in order to forecast constraints on the amplitude of primordial magnetic fields as a function of the spectral index. We find that the amplitude will be constrained at the level of ~ 0.1 nG for nB ~ -3, and at the level of ~ 10-7 nG for nB ~ 3. The latter is at the same level of lower bounds coming from the secondary emission of gamma-ray sources, implying that for high spectral indices Euclid will certainly be able to detect primordial magnetic fields, if they exist. The present study shows how large-scale structure surveys can be used for both understanding the origins of astrophysical magnetic fields and shedding new light on the physics of the pre-recombination Universe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/143067
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