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Inflationary Freedom and Cosmological Neutrino Constraints

de Putter, Roland and Linder, Eric V. and Mishra, Abhilash (2014) Inflationary Freedom and Cosmological Neutrino Constraints. Physical Review D, 89 (10). Art. No. 103502. ISSN 2470-0010.

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The most stringent bounds on the absolute neutrino mass scale come from cosmological data. These bounds are made possible because massive relic neutrinos affect the expansion history of the universe and lead to a suppression of matter clustering on scales smaller than the associated free streaming length. However, the resulting effect on cosmological perturbations is relative to the primordial power spectrum of density perturbations from inflation, so freedom in the primordial power spectrum affects neutrino mass constraints. Using measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the galaxy power spectrum and the Hubble constant, we constrain neutrino mass and number of species for a model-independent primordial power spectrum. Describing the primordial power spectrum by a 20-node spline, we find that the neutrino mass upper limit is a factor 3 weaker than when a power law form is imposed, if only CMB data are used. The primordial power spectrum itself is constrained to better than 10% in the wave vector range k≈0.01−0.25  Mpc^(−1) . Galaxy clustering data and a determination of the Hubble constant play a key role in reining in the effects of inflationary freedom on neutrino constraints. The inclusion of both eliminates the inflationary freedom degradation of the neutrino mass bound, giving for the sum of neutrino masses Σm_ν<0.18  eV (at 95% confidence level, Planck+BOSS+H_0), approximately independent of the assumed primordial power spectrum model. When allowing for a free effective number of species, N_(eff) , the joint constraints on Σm_ν and N_(eff) are loosened by a factor 1.7 when the power law form of the primordial power spectrum is abandoned in favor of the spline parametrization.

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Additional Information:© 2014 American Physical Society. Received 5 February 2014; published 1 May 2014. We thank Olga Mena for her assistance with the galaxy power spectrum likelihood code and Jan Hamann for useful discussion regarding Appendix B. Part of the research described in this paper was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This work is supported by NASA ATP Grant No. 11-ATP- 090, DOE Grant No. DE-SC-0007867, and the Director, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02- 05CH11231, and by Korea World Class University Grant No. R32-2009-000-10130-0. R. d. P. thanks the Institute for the Early Universe at Ewha University, Seoul, where part of this work was performed, for its hospitality.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC-0007867
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Korea World Class UniversityR32-2009-000-10130-0
Issue or Number:10
Classification Code:PACS: 98.80.Es, 14.60.Pq, 98.80.Cq
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140211-091322760
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43767
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Feb 2014 17:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:11

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