Neil Bevis

Imperial College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (16)39.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We suggest that LISA Pathfinder, a technology demonstrator for the future gravitational wave observatory LISA, could be used to carry out a direct experimental test of Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND). The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is currently being built and the launch date is just a few years away. No modifications of the spacecraft are required, nor any interference with its nominal mission. The basic concept is to fly LISA Pathfinder through the region around the Sun-Earth saddle point, in an extended mission phase, once the original mission goals are achieved. We examine various strategies to reach the saddle point, and find that the preferred strategy, yielding relatively short transfer times of just over 1 year, probably involves a lunar fly-by. LISA Pathfinder will be able to probe the intermediate MOND regime, i.e. the transition between deep MOND and Newtonian gravity. We present robust estimates of the anomalous gravity gradients that LISA Pathfinder should be exposed to, based on MONDian effects as derived from the Tensor-Vector-Scalar (TeVeS) theory. The spacecraft speed and spatial scale of the MOND signal combine in a way that the spectral signature of the signal falls precisely into LISA Pathfinder’s measurement bandwidth. We find that if the gravity gradiometer on-board the spacecraft achieves its currently predicted sensitivity, these anomalous gradients could not just be detected, but measured in some detail.
    Advances in Space Research 12/2012; 50(11):1570–1580. · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a significant update of the constraints on the Abelian Higgs cosmic string tension by cosmic microwave background (CMB) data, enabled both by the use of new high-resolution CMB data from suborbital experiments as well as the latest results of the WMAP satellite, and by improved predictions for the impact of Abelian Higgs cosmic strings on the CMB power spectra. The new cosmic string spectra (presented in a previous work) were improved especially for small angular scales, through the use of larger Abelian Higgs string simulations and careful extrapolation. If Abelian Higgs strings are present then we find improved bounds on their contribution to the CMB anisotropies, f10< 0.095, and on their tension, G\mu< 0.57 x 10^-6, both at 95% confidence level using WMAP7 data; and f10 < 0.048 and G\mu < 0.42 x 10^-6 using all the CMB data. We also find that using all the CMB data, a scale invariant initial perturbation spectrum, ns=1, is now disfavoured at 2.4\sigma\ even if strings are present. A Bayesian model selection analysis no longer indicates a preference for strings.
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 08/2011; 2011(12). · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proposed CMBPol mission will be able to detect the imprint of topological defects on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) provided the contribution is sufficiently strong. We quantify the detection threshold for cosmic strings and for textures, and analyse the satellite's ability to distinguish between these different types of defects. We also assess the level of danger of misidentification of a defect signature as from the wrong defect type or as an effect of primordial gravitational waves. A 0.002 fractional contribution of cosmic strings to the CMB temperature spectrum at multipole ten, and similarly a 0.001 fractional contribution of textures, can be detected and correctly identified at the 3{\sigma} level. We also confirm that a tensor contribution of r = 0.0018 can be detected at over 3{\sigma}, in agreement with the CMBpol mission concept study. These results are supported by a model selection analysis.
    Physical review D: Particles and fields 10/2010; 83(4).
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    ABSTRACT: We present a significant improvement over our previous calculations of the cosmic string contribution to cosmic microwave background (CMB) power spectra, with particular focus on sub-WMAP angular scales. These smaller scales are relevant for the now-operational Planck satellite and additional sub-orbital CMB projects that have even finer resolutions. We employ larger Abelian Higgs string simulations than before and we additionally model and extrapolate the statistical measures from our simulations to smaller length scales. We then use an efficient means of including the extrapolations into our Einstein-Boltzmann calculations in order to yield accurate results over the multipole range 2 < l < 4000. Our results suggest that power-law behaviour cuts in for l > 3000 in the case of the temperature power spectrum, which then allows cautious extrapolation to even smaller scales. We find that a string contribution to the temperature power spectrum making up 10% of power at l=10 would be larger than the Silk-damped primary adiabatic contribution for l > 3500. Astrophysical contributions such as the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect also become important at these scales and will reduce the sensitivity to strings, but these are potentially distinguishable by their frequency-dependence. Comment: 18 pages, 16 figures
    Physical review D: Particles and fields 05/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: We suggest that LISA Pathfinder could be used to subject TEVES, and in particular the non-relativistic MOND phenomenology it incorporates, to a direct, controlled experimental test, in just a few years' time. The basic concept is to fly LISA Pathfinder through the region around the Sun-Earth saddle point, following its nominal mission, in order to look for anomalous gravity gradients. We examine various strategies to reach the saddle point, and conclude that the preferred strategy, resulting in relatively short transfer times of order one year, probably involves a lunar fly-by. We present robust estimates of the MOND gravity gradients that LISA Pathfinder should be exposed to, and conclude that if the gradiometer on-board the spacecraft achieves its nominal performance, these gradients will not just be detected, but measured and characterised in some detail, should they exist. Conversely, given the large predicted signal based on standard assumptions, a null result would most likely spell the end of TEVES/MOND. Comment: Twin paper to arXiv:0912.0710
    01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: We study the evolution of a particular class of nonperiodic cosmic string loops containing Y-junctions, such as may form during the evolution of a network of (p,q) cosmic superstrings. We set up and solve the Nambu-Goto equations of motion for a loop with junctions, focusing attention on a specific initially static and planar loop configuration. After a given time, the junctions collide and the Nambu-Goto description breaks down. We also study the same loop configuration in a U(1)×U(1) gauge field-theory model that allows composite vortices with corresponding Y-junctions. We show that the field-theory and Nambu-Goto evolution are remarkably similar until the collision time. However, in the field-theory evolution a new phenomenon occurs: the composite vortices can unzip, producing in the process new Y-junctions, whose separation may grow significantly, destabilizing the configuration. In particular, an initial loop with two Y-junctions may evolve to a configuration with six Y-junctions (all distinct from each other). Setting up this new configuration as an initial condition for Nambu-Goto strings, we solve for its evolution and establish conditions under which it is stable to the decay mode seen in the field-theory case. Remarkably, the condition closely matches that seen in the field-theory simulations, and is expressed in terms of simple parameters of the Nambu-Goto system. This implies that there is an easy way to understand the instability in terms of which region of parameter space leads to stable or unstable unzippings.
    Physical Review D 12/2009; 80(12). · 4.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In previous work it was shown that MOND theories predict anomalously strong tidal stresses near the saddle points of the Newtonian gravitational potential. An analytical examination of the saddle between two bodies revealed a linear and a non-linear solution, valid for the outer and inner regions. Here we present a numerical algorithm for solving the MOND equations. We check the code against the two-body analytical solutions and explore the region transitioning between them. We then develop a a realistic model for the MONDian effects on the saddles of the Sun-Earth-Moon system (including further sources is straightforward). For the Sun-Earth saddle we find that the two-body results are almost unchanged, with corrections increasing from full to new Moon. In contrast, the Moon saddle is an intrinsically three-body problem, but we numerically find a recipe for adapting the two-body solution to this case, by means of a suitable re-scaling and axis re-orientation. We explore possible experimental scenarios for LISA Pathfinder, and the prospect of a visit to the saddle(s) at the end of the mission. Given the chaotic nature of the orbits, awareness of the full range of the possibilities is crucial for a realistic prediction. We conclude that even with very conservative assumptions on the impact parameter, the accelerometers are abundantly sensitive to vindicate or rule out the theory. Comment: To be published in CQG
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 12/2009; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Classical lattice simulations of the Abelian Higgs model are used to investigate small scale structure and loop distributions in cosmic string networks. Use of the field theory ensures that the small-scale physics is captured correctly. The results confirm analytic predictions of Polchinski & Rocha [1] for the two-point correlation function of the string tangent vector, with a power law from length scales of order the string core width up to horizon scale with evidence to suggest that the small scale structure builds up from small scales. An analysis of the size distribution of string loops gives a very low number density, of order 1 per horizon volume, in contrast with Nambu-Goto simulations. Further, our loop distribution function does not support the detailed analytic predictions for loop production derived by Dubath et al. [2]. Better agreement to our data is found with a model based on loop fragmentation [3], coupled with a constant rate of energy loss into massive radiation. Our results show a strong energy loss mechanism which allows the string network to scale without gravitational radiation, but which is not due to the production of string width loops. From evidence of small scale structure we argue a partial explanation for the scale separation problem of how energy in the very low frequency modes of the string network is transformed into the very high frequency modes of gauge and Higgs radiation. We propose a picture of string network evolution which reconciles the apparent differences between Nambu-Goto and field theory simulations.
    Physical review D: Particles and fields 12/2008; 79(12).
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    Neil Bevis, Paul M. Saffin
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    ABSTRACT: We explore the formation of cosmic string Y-junctions when strings of two different types collide, which has recently become important since string theory can yield cosmic strings of distinct types. Using a model containing two types of local U(1) string and stable composites, we simulate the collision of two straight strings and investigate whether the dynamics matches that previously obtained using the Nambu-Goto action, which is not strictly valid close to the junction. We find that the Nambu-Goto action performs only moderately well at predicting when the collision results in the formation of a pair of Y-junctions (with a composite string connecting them). However, we find that when they do form, the late time dynamics matches those of the Nambu-Goto approximation very closely. We also see little radiative emission from the Y-junction system, which suggests that radiative decay due to bridge formation does not appear to be a means via which a cosmological network of such string would rapidly lose energy.
    Physical Review D 05/2008; · 4.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While observations indicate that the predominant source of cosmic inhomogeneities are adiabatic perturbations, there are a variety of candidates to provide auxiliary trace effects, including inflation-generated primordial tensors and cosmic defects which both produce B-mode cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization. We investigate whether future experiments may suffer confusion as to the true origin of such effects, focusing on the ability of Planck to distinguish tensors from cosmic strings, and show that there is no significant degeneracy. Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures. Minor changes to match published version
    Physical review D: Particles and fields 03/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: We perform a multiparameter likelihood analysis to compare measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) power spectra with predictions from models involving cosmic strings. Adding strings to the standard case of a primordial spectrum with power-law tilt ns, we find a 2sigma detection of strings: f10=0.11+/-0.05, where f10 is the fractional contribution made by strings in the temperature power spectrum (at l=10). CMB data give moderate preference to the model ns=1 with cosmic strings over the standard zero-strings model with variable tilt. When additional non-CMB data are incorporated, the two models become on a par. With variable ns and these extra data, we find that f10<0.11, which corresponds to Gmicro<0.7x10(-6) (where micro is the string tension and G is the gravitational constant).
    Physical Review Letters 02/2008; 100(2):021301. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first ever calculation of cosmic microwave background CMB anisotropy power spectra from semilocal cosmic strings, obtained via simulations of a classical field theory. Semilocal strings are a type of non-topological defect arising in some models of inflation motivated by fundamental physics, and are thought to relax the constraints on the symmetry breaking scale as compared to models with (topological) cosmic strings. We derive constraints on the model parameters, including the string tension parameter mu, from fits to cosmological data, and find that in this regard BPS semilocal strings resemble global textures more than topological strings. The observed microwave anisotropy at l = 10 is reproduced if Gmu = 5.3x10^{-6} (G is Newton's constant). However as with other defects the spectral shape does not match observations, and in models with inflationary perturbations plus semilocal strings the 95% confidence level upper bound is Gmu<2.0x10^{-6} when CMB data, Hubble Key Project and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis data are used (c.f. Gmu<0.9x10^{-6} for cosmic strings). We additionally carry out a Bayesian model comparison of several models with and without defects, showing models with defects are neither conclusively favoured nor disfavoured at present. Comment: 15 pages, 13 figures. Minor correction of numerical results, matches published version
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 11/2007; · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first calculation of the possible (local) cosmic string contribution to the cosmic microwave background polarization spectra from simulations of a string network (rather than a stochastic collection of unconnected string segments). We use field theory simulations of the Abelian Higgs model to represent local U(1) strings, including their radiative decay and microphysics. Relative to previous estimates, our calculations show a shift in power to larger angular scales, making the chance of a future cosmic string detection from the B-mode polarization slightly greater. We explore a future ground-based polarization detector, taking the CLOVER project as our example. In the null hypothesis (that cosmic strings make a zero contribution) we find that CLOVER should limit the string tension \mu to G\mu<0.12e-6 (where G is the gravitational constant), above which it is likely that a detection would be possible.
    Physical review D: Particles and fields 05/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first field-theoretic calculations of the contribution made by cosmic strings to the temperature power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Unlike previous work, in which strings were modeled as idealized one-dimensional objects, we evolve the simplest example of an underlying field theory containing local U(1) strings, the Abelian Higgs model. Limitations imposed by finite computational volumes are overcome using the scaling property of string networks and a further extrapolation related to the lessening of the string width in comoving coordinates. The strings and their decay products, which are automatically included in the field theory approach, source metric perturbations via their energy-momentum tensor, the unequal-time correlation functions of which are used as input into the CMB calculation phase. These calculations involve the use of a modified version of CMBEASY, with results provided over the full range of relevant scales. We find that the string tension $\mu$ required to normalize to the WMAP 3-year data at multipole $\ell = 10$ is $G\mu = [2.04\pm0.06\textrm{(stat.)}\pm0.12\textrm{(sys.)}] \times 10^{-6}$, where we have quoted statistical and systematic errors separately, and $G$ is Newton's constant. This is a factor 2-3 higher than values in current circulation.
    05/2006;
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    ABSTRACT: We present predictions for the angular correlation function and redshift distribution for SHADES, the SCUBA Half-Degree Extragalactic Survey, which will yield a sample of around 300 submillimetre sources in the 850-μm waveband in two separate fields. Complete and unbiased photometric redshift information on these submillimetre sources will be derived by combining the SCUBA data with (i) deep radio imaging already obtained with the Very Large Array, (ii) guaranteed-time Spitzer data at mid-infrared wavelengths, and (iii) far-infrared maps to be produced by BLAST, the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope. Predictions for the redshift distribution and clustering properties of the final anticipated SHADES sample have been computed for a wide variety of models, each constrained to fit the observed number counts. As we are dealing with around 150 sources per field, we use the sky-averaged angular correlation function to produce a more robust fit of a power-law shape w(θ) = (θ/A)−δ to the model data. Comparing the predicted distributions of redshift and of the clustering amplitude A and slope δ, we find that models can be constrained from the combined SHADES data with the expected photometric redshift information.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2005; 359(2):469 - 480. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use the cosmic microwave background angular power spectra to place upper limits on the degree to which global defects may have aided cosmic structure formation. We explore this under the inflationary paradigm, but with the addition of textures resulting from the breaking of a global O(4) symmetry during the early stages of the Universe. As a measure of their contribution, we use the fraction of the temperature power spectrum that is attributed to the defects at a multipole of 10. However, we find a parameter degeneracy enabling a fit to the first-year WMAP data to be made even with a significant defect fraction. This degeneracy involves the baryon fraction and the Hubble constant, plus the normalization and tilt of the primordial power spectrum. Hence, constraints on these cosmological parameters are weakened. Combining the WMAP data with a constraint on the physical baryon fraction from big bang nucleosynthesis calculations and high-redshift deuterium abundance, limits the extent of the degeneracy and gives an upper bound on the defect fraction of 0.13 (95% confidence). Comment: 10pp LaTeX/RevTeX, 6 eps figs; matches accepted version
    Physical review D: Particles and fields 03/2004;

Publication Stats

558 Citations
39.45 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2012
    • Imperial College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004–2011
    • University of Sussex
      • • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      • • Astronomy Centre
      Brighton, England, United Kingdom