Journal Article

Measurement of the baryonic acoustic oscillation scale in 21 cm intensity fluctuations during the reionization era

Kirsty J. Rhook, Paul M. Geil and J. Stuart B. Wyithe

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 392, issue 4, pages 1388-1396
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14028.x
Measurement of the baryonic acoustic oscillation scale in 21 cm intensity fluctuations during the reionization era

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It has recently been suggested that the power spectrum of redshifted 21 cm fluctuations could be used to measure the scale of baryonic acoustic oscillations (BAOs) during the reionization era. The resulting measurements are potentially as precise as those offered by the next generation of galaxy redshift surveys at lower redshift. However, unlike galaxy redshift surveys, which in the linear regime are subject to a scale-independent galaxy bias, the growth of ionized regions during reionization is thought to introduce a strongly scale-dependent relationship between the 21 cm and mass power spectra. We use a seminumerical model for reionization to assess the impact of ionized regions on the precision and accuracy with which the BAO scale could be measured using redshifted 21 cm observations. For a model in which reionization is completed at z∼ 6, we find that the constraints on the BAO scale are not systematically biased at z≳ 6.5. In this scenario, and assuming the sensitivity attainable with a low-frequency array comprising 10 times the collecting area of the Murchison Widefield Array, the BAO scale could be measured to within 1.5 per cent in the range 6.5 ≲z≲ 7.5.

Keywords: diffuse radiation; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  6402 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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