Journal Article

Neutrino masses, dark energy and the gravitational lensing of pre-galactic H <span class="smallCaps">i</span>

R. Benton Metcalf

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 401, issue 3, pages 1999-2004
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Neutrino masses, dark energy and the gravitational lensing of pre-galactic H i

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We study the constraints which the next generation of radio telescopes could place on the mass and number of neutrino species by studying the gravitational lensing of high-redshift 21-cm emission in combination with wide-angle surveys of galaxy lensing. We use simple characterizations of reionization history and of proposed telescope designs to forecast the constraints and detectability threshold for neutrinos. It is found that the degeneracy between neutrino parameters and dark energy parameters is significantly reduced by incorporating 21-cm lensing. The combination of galaxy and 21-cm lensing could constrain the sum of the neutrino masses to within ∼0.04 eV and the number of species to within ∼0.1. This is an improvement of a factor of 2.6 in mass and 1.4 in number over a galaxy lensing survey alone. This includes marginalizing over an 11-parameter cosmological model with a two-parameter model for the dark energy equation of state. If the dark energy equation of state is held fixed at wp/ρ=−1, the constraints improve to ∼0.025 eV and 0.04. These forecasted errors depend critically on the fraction of sky that can be surveyed in redshifted 21-cm emission (25 per cent is assumed here) and the redshift of reionization (z= 7 is assumed here). It is also found that neutrinos with masses too small to be detected in the data could none the less cause a significant bias in the measured dark energy equation of state.

Keywords: gravitational lensing; intergalactic medium; cosmological parameters; dark matter; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  4157 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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