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Title: What next-generation 21 cm power spectrum measurements can teach us about the epoch of reionization

Abstract

A number of experiments are currently working toward a measurement of the 21 cm signal from the epoch of reionization (EoR). Whether or not these experiments deliver a detection of cosmological emission, their limited sensitivity will prevent them from providing detailed information about the astrophysics of reionization. In this work, we consider what types of measurements will be enabled by the next generation of larger 21 cm EoR telescopes. To calculate the type of constraints that will be possible with such arrays, we use simple models for the instrument, foreground emission, and the reionization history. We focus primarily on an instrument modeled after the ∼0.1 km{sup 2} collecting area Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array concept design and parameterize the uncertainties with regard to foreground emission by considering different limits to the recently described 'wedge' footprint in k space. Uncertainties in the reionization history are accounted for using a series of simulations that vary the ionizing efficiency and minimum virial temperature of the galaxies responsible for reionization, as well as the mean free path of ionizing photons through the intergalactic medium. Given various combinations of models, we consider the significance of the possible power spectrum detections, the ability to trace themore » power spectrum evolution versus redshift, the detectability of salient power spectrum features, and the achievable level of quantitative constraints on astrophysical parameters. Ultimately, we find that 0.1 km{sup 2} of collecting area is enough to ensure a very high significance (≳ 30σ) detection of the reionization power spectrum in even the most pessimistic scenarios. This sensitivity should allow for meaningful constraints on the reionization history and astrophysical parameters, especially if foreground subtraction techniques can be improved and successfully implemented.« less

Authors:
;  [1]; ; ;  [2]; ; ;  [3];  [4]; ;  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9]
  1. Physics Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States)
  5. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85004 (United States)
  6. Astronomy Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
  7. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM 87801 (United States)
  8. Radio Astronomy Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
  9. Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22351456
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 782; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; DETECTION; EFFICIENCY; EMISSION; ENHANCED RECOVERY; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; HYDROGEN; LIMITING VALUES; MEAN FREE PATH; PHOTONS; RADIO TELESCOPES; RED SHIFT; SENSITIVITY; SIMULATION; SPACE; SPECTRA; STARS

Citation Formats

Pober, Jonathan C., Morales, Miguel F., Liu, Adrian, McQuinn, Matthew, Parsons, Aaron R., Dillon, Joshua S., Hewitt, Jacqueline N., Tegmark, Max, Aguirre, James E., Bowman, Judd D., Jacobs, Daniel C., Bradley, Richard F., Carilli, Chris L., DeBoer, David R., and Werthimer, Dan J. What next-generation 21 cm power spectrum measurements can teach us about the epoch of reionization. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/782/2/66.
Pober, Jonathan C., Morales, Miguel F., Liu, Adrian, McQuinn, Matthew, Parsons, Aaron R., Dillon, Joshua S., Hewitt, Jacqueline N., Tegmark, Max, Aguirre, James E., Bowman, Judd D., Jacobs, Daniel C., Bradley, Richard F., Carilli, Chris L., DeBoer, David R., & Werthimer, Dan J. What next-generation 21 cm power spectrum measurements can teach us about the epoch of reionization. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/782/2/66.
Pober, Jonathan C., Morales, Miguel F., Liu, Adrian, McQuinn, Matthew, Parsons, Aaron R., Dillon, Joshua S., Hewitt, Jacqueline N., Tegmark, Max, Aguirre, James E., Bowman, Judd D., Jacobs, Daniel C., Bradley, Richard F., Carilli, Chris L., DeBoer, David R., and Werthimer, Dan J. Thu . "What next-generation 21 cm power spectrum measurements can teach us about the epoch of reionization". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/782/2/66.
@article{osti_22351456,
title = {What next-generation 21 cm power spectrum measurements can teach us about the epoch of reionization},
author = {Pober, Jonathan C. and Morales, Miguel F. and Liu, Adrian and McQuinn, Matthew and Parsons, Aaron R. and Dillon, Joshua S. and Hewitt, Jacqueline N. and Tegmark, Max and Aguirre, James E. and Bowman, Judd D. and Jacobs, Daniel C. and Bradley, Richard F. and Carilli, Chris L. and DeBoer, David R. and Werthimer, Dan J.},
abstractNote = {A number of experiments are currently working toward a measurement of the 21 cm signal from the epoch of reionization (EoR). Whether or not these experiments deliver a detection of cosmological emission, their limited sensitivity will prevent them from providing detailed information about the astrophysics of reionization. In this work, we consider what types of measurements will be enabled by the next generation of larger 21 cm EoR telescopes. To calculate the type of constraints that will be possible with such arrays, we use simple models for the instrument, foreground emission, and the reionization history. We focus primarily on an instrument modeled after the ∼0.1 km{sup 2} collecting area Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array concept design and parameterize the uncertainties with regard to foreground emission by considering different limits to the recently described 'wedge' footprint in k space. Uncertainties in the reionization history are accounted for using a series of simulations that vary the ionizing efficiency and minimum virial temperature of the galaxies responsible for reionization, as well as the mean free path of ionizing photons through the intergalactic medium. Given various combinations of models, we consider the significance of the possible power spectrum detections, the ability to trace the power spectrum evolution versus redshift, the detectability of salient power spectrum features, and the achievable level of quantitative constraints on astrophysical parameters. Ultimately, we find that 0.1 km{sup 2} of collecting area is enough to ensure a very high significance (≳ 30σ) detection of the reionization power spectrum in even the most pessimistic scenarios. This sensitivity should allow for meaningful constraints on the reionization history and astrophysical parameters, especially if foreground subtraction techniques can be improved and successfully implemented.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/782/2/66},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 782,
place = {United States},
year = {2014},
month = {2}
}