Cyril Pitrou - ICG, Portsmouth

Cyril Pitrou
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Cyril Pitrou
ICG, Portsmouth
United Kingdom

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General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (28)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (25)
Astrophysics (8)
High Energy Physics - Theory (8)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (2)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (2)
Physics - Fluid Dynamics (1)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (1)

Publications Authored By Cyril Pitrou

Unresolved sources of gravitational waves are at the origin of a stochastic gravitational wave background. While the computation of its mean density as a function of frequency in a homogeneous and isotropic universe is standard lore, the computation of its anisotropies requires to understand the coarse graining from local systems, to galactic scales and then to cosmology. An expression of the gravitational wave energy density valid in any general spacetime is derived. Read More

We build a statistical description of fermions, taking into account the spin degree of freedom in addition to the momentum of particles, and we detail its use in the context of the kinetic theory of gases of fermions particles. We show that the one-particle distribution function needed to write a Liouville equation is a spinor valued operator. The degrees of freedom of this function are covariantly described by an intensity function and by a polarisation vector which are parallel transported by free streaming. Read More

The properties of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature and polarisation anisotropies measured by a static, off-centered observer located in a local spherically symmetric void, are described. In particular in this paper we compute, together with the standard 2- point angular correlation functions, the off-diagonal correlators, which are no more vanishing by symmetry. While the energy shift induced by the off-centered position of the observer can be suppressed by a proper choice of the observer velocity, a lensing-like effect on the CMB emission point remains. Read More

We investigate the generation of magnetic fields from non-linear effects around recombination. As tight-coupling is gradually lost when approaching $z\simeq 1100$, the velocity difference between photons and baryons starts to increase, leading to an increasing Compton drag of the photons on the electrons. The protons are then forced to follow the electrons due to the electric field created by the charge displacement; the same field, following Maxwell's laws, eventually induces a magnetic field on cosmological scales. Read More

We build a general formalism to describe thin viscous jets as one-dimensional objects with an internal structure. We present in full generality the steps needed to describe the viscous jets around their central line, and we argue that the Taylor expansion of all fields around that line is conveniently expressed in terms of symmetric trace-free tensors living in the two dimensions of the fiber sections. We recover the standard results of axisymmetric jets and we report the first and second corrections to the lowest order description, also allowing for a rotational component around the axis of symmetry. Read More

A primordial inflationary phase allows one to erase any possible anisotropic expansion thanks to the cosmic no-hair theorem. If there is no global anisotropic stress, then the anisotropic expansion rate tends to decrease. What are the observational consequences of a possible early anisotropic phase? We first review the dynamics of anisotropic universes and report analytic approximations. Read More

Redshift-space distortions are generally considered in the plane parallel limit, where the angular separation between the two sources can be neglected. Given that galaxy catalogues now cover large fractions of the sky, it becomes necessary to consider them in a formalism which takes into account the wide angle separations. In this article we derive an operational formula for the matter correlators in the Newtonian limit to be used in actual data sets, both in configuration and in Fourier spaces without relying on a plane-parallel approximation. Read More

The nature of monetary arrangements is often discussed without any reference to its detailed construction. We present a graph representation which allows for a clear understanding of modern monetary systems. First, we show that systems based on commodity money are incompatible with credit. Read More

This article details the computation of the two-point correlators of the convergence, $E$- and $B$-modes of the cosmic shear induced by the weak-lensing by large scale structure assuming that the background spacetime is spatially homogeneous and anisotropic. After detailing the perturbation equations and the general theory of weak-lensing in an anisotropic universe, it develops a weak shear approximation scheme in which one can compute analytically the evolution of the Jacobi matrix. It allows one to compute the angular power spectrum of the $E$- and $B$-modes. Read More

We compute the angular power spectrum of the $B$-modes of the weak-lensing shear in a spatially anisotropic spacetime. We find that there must also exist off-diagonal correlations between the $E$-modes, $B$-modes, and convergence that allow one to reconstruct the eigendirections of expansion. Focusing on future surveys such as Euclid and SKA, we show that observations can constrain the geometrical shear in units of the Hubble rate at the percent level, or even better, offering a new and powerful method to probe our cosmological model. Read More

This article proposes a comprehensive analysis of light propagation in an anisotropic and spatially homogeneous Bianchi I universe. After recalling that null geodesics are easily determined in such a spacetime, we derive the expressions of the redshift and direction drifts of light sources; by solving analytically the Sachs equation, we then obtain an explicit expression of the Jacobi matrix describing the propagation of narrow light beams. As a byproduct, we recover the old formula by Saunders for the angular diameter distance in a Bianchi I spacetime, but our derivation goes further since it also provides the optical shear and rotation. Read More

Various extensions of standard inflationary models have been proposed recently by adding vector fields. Because they are generally motivated by large-scale anomalies, and the possibility of statistical anisotropy of primordial fluctuations, such models require to introduce non-standard couplings between vector fields on the one hand, and either gravity or scalar fields on the other hand. In this article, we study models involving a vector field coupled to a scalar field. Read More

CMB spectral distortions are induced by Compton collisions with electrons. We review the various schemes to characterize the anisotropic CMB with a non-Planckian spectrum. We advocate using logarithmically averaged temperature moments as the preferred language to describe these spectral distortions, both for theoretical modeling and observations. Read More

We compute the spectral distortions of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization induced by non-linear effects in the Compton interactions between CMB photons and cold intergalactic electrons. This signal is of the $y$-type and is dominated by contributions arising from the reionized era. We stress that it is not shadowed by the thermal SZ effect which has no equivalent for polarization. Read More

In the context of cosmological perturbation theory, we derive the second order Boltzmann equation describing the evolution of the distribution function of radiation without a specific gauge choice. The essential steps in deriving the Boltzmann equation are revisited and extended given this more general framework: i) the polarisation of light is incorporated in this formalism by using a tensor-valued distribution function; ii) the importance of a choice of the tetrad field to define the local inertial frame in the description of the distribution function is emphasized; iii) we perform a separation between temperature and spectral distortion, both for the intensity and for polarisation for the first time; iv) the gauge dependence of all perturbed quantities that enter the Boltzmann equation is derived, and this enables us to check the correctness of the perturbed Boltzmann equation by explicitly showing its gauge-invariance for both intensity and polarization. We finally discuss several implications of the gauge dependence for the observed temperature. Read More

In this paper, we develop in detail a fully geometrical method for deriving perturbation equations about a spatially homogeneous background. This method relies on the 3+1 splitting of the background space-time and does not use any particular set of coordinates: it is implemented in terms of geometrical quantities only, using the tensor algebra package xTensor in the xAct distribution along with the extension for perturbations xPert. Our algorithm allows one to obtain the perturbation equations for all types of homogeneous cosmologies, up to any order and in all possible gauges. Read More

This article derives a multipolar hierarchy for the propagation of the weak-lensing shear and convergence in a general spacetime. The origin of B-modes, in particular on large angular scales, is related to the local isotropy of space. Known results assuming a Friedmann-Lema\^itre background are naturally recovered. Read More

The CMB bispectrum generated by second-order effects at recombination can be calculated analytically when one of the three modes has a wavelength much longer than the other two and is outside the horizon at recombination. This was pointed out in \cite{Creminelli:2004pv} and here we correct their results. We derive a simple formula for the bispectrum, $f_{NL}^{loc} = - (1/6+ \cos 2 \theta) \cdot (1- 1/2 \cdot d \ln (l_S^2 C_{S})/d \ln l_S)$, where $C_S$ is the short scale spectrum and $\theta$ the relative orientation between the long and the short modes. Read More

Local non-Gaussianity, parametrized by $f_{\rm NL}$, introduces a scale-dependent bias that is strongest at large scales, precisely where General Relativistic (GR) effects also become significant. With future data, it should be possible to constrain $f_{\rm NL} = {\cal O}(1)$ with high redshift surveys. GR corrections to the power spectrum and ambiguities in the gauge used to define bias introduce effects similar to $f_{\rm NL}= {\cal O}(1)$, so it is essential to disentangle these effects. Read More

This article investigates the stability of a generic Kasner spacetime to linear perturbations, both at late and early times. It demonstrates that the perturbation of the Weyl tensor diverges at late time in all cases but in the particular one in which the Kasner spacetime is the product of a two-dimensional Milne spacetime and a two-dimensional Euclidean space. At early times, the perturbation of the Weyl tensor also diverges unless one imposes a condition on the perturbations so as to avoid the most divergent modes to be excited. Read More

Affiliations: 1Université de Genève, 2ICG, Portsmouth, 3Western Cape & ICG, Portsmouth

Nonlinear dynamics creates vortical currents when the tight-coupling approximation between photons and baryons breaks down around the time of recombination. This generates a magnetic field at second order in cosmological perturbations, whose power spectrum is fixed by standard physics, without the need for any ad hoc assumptions. We present the fully relativistic calculation of the magnetic power spectrum, including the effects of metric perturbations, second-order velocity and the photon anisotropic stress, thus generalizing and correcting previous results. Read More

This article constructs flat-sky approximations in a controlled way in the context of the cosmic microwave background observations for the computation of both spectra and bispectra. For angular spectra, it is explicitly shown that there exists a whole family of flat-sky approximations of similar accuracy for which the expression and amplitude of next to leading order terms can be explicitly computed. It is noted that in this context two limiting cases can be encountered for which the expressions can be further simplified. Read More

The tight-coupling approximation (TCA) used to describe the early dynamics of the baryons-photons system is systematically built to higher orders in the inverse of the interaction rate. This expansion can be either used to grasp the physical effects by deriving simple analytic solutions or to obtain a form of the system which is stable numerically at early times. In linear cosmological perturbations, we estimate numerically its precision, and we discuss the implications for the baryons acoustic oscillations. Read More

This article presents the first computation of the complete bispectrum of the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies arising from the evolution of all cosmic fluids up to second order, including neutrinos. Gravitational couplings, electron density fluctuations and the second order Boltzmann equation are fully taken into account. Comparison to limiting cases that appeared previously in the literature are provided. Read More

The non-linear evolution of the energy density of the radiation is shown to induce spectral distortions of the cosmic microwave background both at recombination and during the reionization era. This distortion has the same spectral signature as the one produced by the re-scattering of photons by non-relativistic hot electrons, the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, whose amplitude is quantified by a Compton y parameter. A diffuse y-sky is then expected to emerge from mode couplings in the non-linear evolution of the cosmological perturbations and to superimpose to the point source contributions of galaxy clusters. Read More

This article provides a general study of the Hamiltonian stability and the hyperbolicity of vector field models involving both a general function of the Faraday tensor and its dual, $f(F^2,F\tilde F)$, as well as a Proca potential for the vector field, $V(A^2)$. In particular it is demonstrated that theories involving only $f(F^2)$ do not satisfy the hyperbolicity conditions. It is then shown that in this class of models, the cosmological dynamics always dilutes the vector field. Read More

Anisotropic and isotropic slow-roll inflation supported by n-forms are sought. Canonical field strengths and their duals are taken into account, and they are allowed to have a potential and also, when necessary for slow-roll, a nonminimal curvature coupling. New isotropic solutions are found for three-forms. Read More

This article investigates the full Boltzmann equation up to second order in the cosmological perturbations. Describing the distribution of polarized radiation by a tensor valued distribution function, we study the gauge dependence of the distribution function and summarize the construction of the gauge-invariant distribution function. The Liouville operator which describes the free streaming of electrons, and the collision term which describes the scattering of photons on free electrons are computed up to second order. Read More

This article investigates the full Boltzmann equation up to second order in the cosmological perturbations. Describing the distribution of polarized radiation by using a tensor valued distribution function, the second order Boltzmann equation, including polarization, is derived without relying on the Stokes parameters. Read More

This article investigates the non-linear evolution of cosmological perturbations on sub-Hubble scales in order to evaluate the unavoidable deviations from Gaussianity that arise from the non-linear dynamics. It shows that the dominant contribution to modes coupling in the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies on small angular scales is driven by the sub-Hubble non-linear evolution of the dark matter component. The perturbation equations, involving in particular the first moments of the Boltzmann equation for the photons, are integrated up to second order in perturbations. Read More

This article investigates the predictions of an inflationary phase starting from a homogeneous and anisotropic universe of the Bianchi I type. After discussing the evolution of the background spacetime, focusing on the number of e-folds and the isotropization, we solve the perturbation equations and predict the power spectra of the curvature perturbations and gravity waves at the end of inflation. The main features of the early anisotropic phase is (1) a dependence of the spectra on the direction of the modes, (2) a coupling between curvature perturbations and gravity waves, and (3) the fact that the two gravity waves polarisations do not share the same spectrum on large scales. Read More

This article describes the theory of cosmological perturbations around a homogeneous and anisotropic universe of the Bianchi I type. Starting from a general parameterisation of the perturbed spacetime a la Bardeen, a complete set of gauge invariant variables is constructed. Three physical degrees of freedom are identified and it is shown that, in the case where matter is described by a scalar field, they generalize the Mukhanov-Sasaki variables. Read More

This article investigates the collisionless Boltzmann equation up to second order in the cosmological perturbations. It describes the gauge dependence of the distribution function and the construction of a gauge invariant distribution function and brightness, and then derives the gauge invariant fluid limit. Read More

This note derives the analogue of the Mukhanov-Sasaki variables both for scalar and tensor perturbations in the 1+3 covariant formalism. The possibility of generalizing them to non-flat Friedmann-Lemaitre universes is discussed. Read More

The generation of gravitational waves during inflation due to the non-linear coupling of scalar and tensor modes is discussed. Two methods describing gravitational wave perturbations are used and compared: a covariant and local approach, as well as a metric-based analysis based on the Bardeen formalism. An application to slow-roll inflation is also described. Read More