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Reaching small scales with low-frequency imaging: applications to the Dark Ages

Morabito, L. K. and Silk, J. (2021) 'Reaching small scales with low-frequency imaging: applications to the Dark Ages.', Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, physical and engineering sciences, 379 (2188). p. 20190571.


The initial conditions for the density perturbations in the early Universe, which dictate the large-scale structure and distribution of galaxies we see today, are set during inflation. Measurements of primordial non-Gaussianity are crucial for distinguishing between different inflationary models. Current measurements of the matter power spectrum from the cosmic microwave background only constrain this on scales up to k ∼ 0.1 Mpc−1. Reaching smaller angular scales (higher values of k) can provide new constraints on non-Gaussianity. A powerful way to do this is by measuring the HI matter power spectrum at z≳30. In this paper, we investigate what values of k can be reached for the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), which can achieve ≲1″ resolution at approximately 50 MHz. Combining this with a technique to isolate the spectrally smooth foregrounds to a wedge in k∥–k⊥ space, we demonstrate what values of k we can feasibly reach within observational constraints. We find that LOFAR is approximately five orders of magnitude away from the desired sensitivity, for 10 years of integration time.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© The Authors. Made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date accepted:01 July 2020
Date deposited:13 January 2021
Date of first online publication:23 November 2020
Date first made open access:13 January 2021

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