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Unveiling nu secrets with cosmological data: Neutrino masses and mass hierarchy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7614-6677
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC). University of Michigan, USA.
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Number of Authors: 72017 (English)In: Physical Review D: covering particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology, ISSN 2470-0010, E-ISSN 2470-0029, Vol. 96, no 12, article id 123503Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using some of the latest cosmological data sets publicly available, we derive the strongest bounds in the literature on the sum of the three active neutrino masses, M-nu, within the assumption of a background flat Lambda CDM cosmology. In the most conservative scheme, combining Planck cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies and baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) data, as well as the up-to-date constraint on the optical depth to reionization (tau), the tightest 95% confidence level upper bound we find is M-nu < 0.151 eV. The addition of Planck high-l polarization data, which, however, might still be contaminated by systematics, further tightens the bound to M-nu < 0.118 eV. A proper model comparison treatment shows that the two aforementioned combinations disfavor the inverted hierarchy at similar to 64% C.L. and similar to 71% C.L., respectively. In addition, we compare the constraining power of measurements of the full- shape galaxy power spectrum versus the BAO signature, from the BOSS survey. Even though the latest BOSS full-shape measurements cover a larger volume and benefit from smaller error bars compared to previous similar measurements, the analysis method commonly adopted results in their constraining power still being less powerful than that of the extracted BAO signal. Our work uses only cosmological data; imposing the constraint M-nu > 0.06 eV from oscillations data would raise the quoted upper bounds by O(0.1 sigma) and would not affect our conclusions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 96, no 12, article id 123503
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Theoretical Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150869DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.96.123503ISI: 000416948100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150869DiVA, id: diva2:1172657
Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Weigh them all!: Cosmological searches for the neutrino mass scale and mass ordering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weigh them all!: Cosmological searches for the neutrino mass scale and mass ordering
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The elusive neutrinos are among the most intriguing constituents of the particle zoo. The observation of neutrino flavour oscillations, indicating that neutrinos are massive, provides the only direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Neutrinos imprint peculiar signatures in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and in the distribution of Large-Scale Structure (LSS) in the Universe, making cosmology a very promising arena for probing neutrino properties. A detection of neutrino masses is avowedly among the key goals of several upcoming CMB and LSS surveys. For such a promise to be robustly realized, a number of issues need to be addressed, particularly on the LSS side. In this thesis, I describe a number of recent important developments in neutrino cosmology on three fronts.

Firstly, focusing on LSS data, I will show that current cosmological probes (and particularly galaxy power spectrum data) contain a wealth of information on the sum of the neutrino masses. I will report on the analysis leading to the currently best upper limit on the sum of the neutrino masses of 0.12 eV. I show how cosmological data exhibits a weak preference for the normal neutrino mass ordering because of parameter space volume effects, and propose a simple method to quantify this preference.

Secondly, I will discuss how galaxy bias represents a severe limitation towards fully capitalizing on the neutrino information hidden in LSS data. I propose a method for calibrating the scale-dependent galaxy bias using CMB lensing-galaxy cross-correlations. Another crucial issue in this direction is represented by how the bias is defined in first place. In the presence of massive neutrinos, the usual definition of bias becomes inadequate, as it leads to a scale-dependence on large scales which has never been accounted for. I show that failure to define the bias appropriately will be a problem for future LSS surveys, leading to incorrectly estimated cosmological parameters. In doing so, I propose a simple recipe to account for the effect of massive neutrinos on galaxy bias.

Finally, I take on a different angle and discuss implications of correlations between neutrino parameters and other cosmological parameters. I show how, in non-phantom dynamical dark energy models (which include quintessence), the upper limit on the sum of the neutrino masses becomes tighter than the ΛCDM limit. Therefore, such models exhibit an even stronger preference for the normal ordering, and their viability could be jeopardized should near-future laboratory experiments determine that the mass ordering is inverted. I then discuss correlations between neutrino and inflationary parameters. I find that our determination of inflationary parameters is relatively stable against reasonable assumptions about the neutrino sector, and thus that neutrino unknowns do not represent an important nuisance for our understanding of inflation and the initial conditions of the Universe.

The findings reported in this thesis answer a number of important open questions whose addressing is necessary to ensure a robust detection of neutrino masses (and possibly of the neutrino mass ordering) from future cosmological data, opening the door towards physics beyond the Standard Model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physics, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 153
Keywords
neutrinos, neutrino mass, neutrino mass ordering, cosmology, cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure, galaxy surveys, dark energy, cosmic inflation, data analysis
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Theoretical Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167815 (URN)978-91-7797-727-8 (ISBN)978-91-7797-729-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-10, FB52, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 638-2013-8993
Available from: 2019-05-16 Created: 2019-04-15 Last updated: 2019-05-06Bibliographically approved

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