# Niayesh AfshordiUniversity of Waterloo | UWaterloo · Department of Physics and Astronomy

Niayesh Afshordi

PhD in Astrophysics

## About

171

Publications

22,634

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5,409

Citations

Citations since 2017

Introduction

Additional affiliations

September 2009 - present

August 2007 - present

## Publications

Publications (171)

Halo models of large scale structure provide powerful and indispensable tools for phenomenological understanding of the clustering of matter in the Universe. While the halo model builds structures out of the superposition of haloes, defining halo profiles in their outskirts—beyond their virial radii—becomes increasingly ambiguous, as one cannot ass...

The astrophysical stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) originates from numerous faint sub-threshold gravitational wave (GW) signals arising from the coalescing binary compact objects. This background is expected to be discovered from the current (or next-generation) network of GW detectors by cross-correlating the signal between multiple...

We study spherically-symmetric solutions to a modified Einstein-Hilbert action with Renormalization Group scale-dependent couplings, inspired by Weinberg's Asymptotic Safety scenario for Quantum Gravity. The Renormalization Group scale is identified with the Tolman temperature for an isolated gravitational system in thermal equilibrium with Hawking...

We estimate the canonical entropy of a quantum black hole by counting its quasi-normal modes. We first show that the partition function of a classical black hole, evaluated by counting the quasi-normal modes with a thermodyanmic Boltzmann weight, leads to a small entropy of order unity due to the small contribution from higher angular modes. We the...

We use the quantum unimodular theory of gravity to relate the value of the cosmological constant, Λ, and the energy scale for the emergence of cosmological classicality. The fact that Λ and unimodular time are complementary quantum variables implies a perennially quantum Universe should Λ be zero (or, indeed, fixed at any value). Likewise, the smal...

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) has the potential to reveal wonders about the fundamental theory of nature at play in the extreme gravity regime, where the gravitational interaction is both strong and dynamical. In this white paper, the Fundamental Physics Working Group of the LISA Consortium summarizes the current topics in fundament...

Halo Models of large scale structure provide powerful and indispensable tools for phenomenological understanding of the clustering of matter in the Universe. While the halo model builds structures out of the superposition of haloes, defining halo profiles in their outskirts - beyond their virial radii - becomes increasingly ambiguous, as one cannot...

We use the quantum unimodular theory of gravity to relate the value of the cosmological constant, $\Lambda$, and the energy scale for the emergence of cosmological classicality. The fact that $\Lambda$ and unimodular time are complementary quantum variables implies a perennially quantum Universe should $\Lambda$ be zero (or, indeed, fixed at any va...

We study the stacked filaments connecting group-mass halo pairs, using dark-matter-only N-body simulations. We calculate the dark matter over-density profile of these stacked filaments at different redshifts as a function of the distance perpendicular to the filament axis. A four-parameter universal functional form, including three comoving scale r...

An interesting proposal for detecting gravitational waves involves quantum metrology of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). We consider a forced modulation of the speed of sound of a BEC, whose modulation frequency matches that of an incoming continuous gravitational wave. The speed of sound modulation induces parametric resonance in the BEC, which i...

What if Big Bang was hot from its very inception? This is possible in a bimetric theory where the source of fluctuations is thermal, requiring the model to live on a critical boundary in the space of parameters and can be realized when an anti-DBI brane moves within an EAdS 2 × E 3 geometry. This setup renders the model unique, with sharp predictio...

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) has the potential to reveal wonders about the fundamental theory of nature at play in the extreme gravity regime, where the gravitational interaction is both strong and dynamical. In this white paper, the Fundamental Physics Working Group of the LISA Consortium summarizes the current topics in fundament...

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) has the potential to reveal wonders about the fundamental theory of nature at play in the extreme gravity regime, where the gravitational interaction is both strong and dynamical. In this white paper, the Fundamental Physics Working Group of the LISA Consortium summarizes the current topics in fundament...

Purpose:
We present a microscopic mechanism that accounts for the outward burst of ``cold" ion species (IS) in a high-energy particle track due to coupling with ''hot" non-ion species (NIS). IS refers to radiolysis products of ionized molecules, whereas NIS refers to non-ionized excitations of molecules in a medium. The interaction is mediated by...

A bstract
Recent advances in AdS/CFT holography have suggested that the near-horizon dynamics of black holes can be described by random matrix systems. We study how the energy spectrum of a system with a generic random Hamiltonian matrix affects its early and late time thermalization behaviour using the spectral form factor (which captures the time...

We study the stacked filaments connecting group-mass halo pairs, using dark-matter-only N-body simulations. We calculate the dark matter over-density profile of these stacked filaments at different redshifts as a function of the distance perpendicular to the filament axis. A four-parameter universal functional form, including three comoving scale r...

We study spherically-symmetric solutions to a modified Einstein-Hilbert action with Renormalization Group scale-dependent couplings, inspired by Weinberg's Asymptotic Safety scenario for Quantum Gravity. The Renormalization Group scale is identified with the Tolman temperature for an isolated gravitational system in thermal equilibrium with Hawking...

We present a microscopic mechanism that accounts for the outward burst of "cold" ion species (IS) in a high-energy particle track due to coupling with ''hot" non-ion species (NIS). IS refers to radiolysis products of ionized molecules, whereas NIS refers to non-ionized excitations of molecules in a medium. The interaction is mediated by a quantized...

The existence of black hole horizons has not been strictly proven observationally, and indeed it may not be possible to do so. However, alternatives may be established by the observation of gravitational wave echoes that probe possible near-horizon structure. These echoes are proposed to be generated in exotic compact objects that are horizonless a...

Being the most massive binary black hole merger event observed to date, GW190521 is in a class of its own. The exceptionally loud ringdown of this merger makes it an ideal candidate to search for gravitational wave echoes, a proposed smoking gun for the quantum structure of black hole horizons. We perform an unprecedented multi-pronged search for e...

What if Big Bang was hot from its very inception? This is possible in a bimetric theory where the source of fluctuations is thermal, requiring the model to live on a critical boundary in the space of parameters and can be realized when an anti-DBI brane moves within an $EAdS_2 \times E_3$ geometry. This setup renders the model unique, with sharp pr...

Recent advances in AdS/CFT holography have suggested that the near-horizon dynamics of black holes can be described by random matrix systems. We study how the energy spectrum of a system with a generic random Hamiltonian matrix affects its early and late time thermalization behaviour using the spectral form factor (which captures the time-dependenc...

We consider the entire set of COVID-19 local epidemics in the United States; a broad selection of demographic, population density, and climate factors; and local mobility data, tracking social distancing interventions, to determine the key factors driving the spread and containment of the virus. Assuming first a linear model for the rate of exponen...

A bstract
We compute the albedo (or reflectivity) of electromagnetic waves off the electron-positron Hawking plasma that surrounds the horizon of a Quantum Black Hole. We adopt the “modified firewall conjecture” for fuzzballs [1, 2], where we consider significant electromagnetic interaction around the horizon. While prior work has treated this prob...

We investigate the ringdown waveform and reflectivity of a Lifshitz scalar field around a fixed Schwarzschild black hole. The radial wave equation is modified due to the Lorentz breaking terms, which leads to a diversity of ringdown waveforms. Also, it turns out that Lifshitz waves scattered by the Schwarzschild black hole exhibit superradiance. Th...

We compute the albedo (or reflectivity) of electromagnetic waves off the electron-positron Hawking plasma that surrounds the horizon of a Quantum Black Hole. We adopt the "modified firewall conjecture" for fuzzballs [arXiv:hep-th/0502050,arXiv:1711.01617], where we consider significant electromagnetic interaction around the horizon. While prior wor...

The first direct observations of gravitational waves by the LIGO collaboration have motivated different tests of general relativity (GR), including the search for extra pulses following the GR waveform for the coalescence of compact objects. The motivation for these searches comes from the alternative proposal that the final compact object could di...

We investigate the ringdown waveform and reflectivity of a Lifshitz scalar field around a fixed Schwarzschild black hole. The radial wave equation is modified due to the Lorentz breaking terms, which leads to a diversity of ringdown waveforms. Also, it turns out that Lifshitz waves scattered by the Schwarzschild black hole exhibits superradiance. T...

A bstract
We study how the evaporation rate of spherically symmetric black holes is affected through the extraction of radiation close to the horizon. We adopt a model of extraction that involves a perfectly absorptive screen placed close to the horizon and show that the evaporation rate can be changed depending on how close to the horizon the scre...

Characterizing the physical properties of the stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) is a key step towards identifying the nature of its possible origin. We focus our analysis on SGWB anisotropies. The existence of a nontrivial primordial scalar-tensor-tensor (STT) correlation in the squeezed configuration may be inferred from the effect t...

An interesting proposal for detecting gravitational waves involves quantum metrology of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). We consider a forced modulation of the BEC trap, whose frequency matches that of an incoming continuous gravitational wave. The trap modulation induces parametric resonance in the BEC, which in turn enhances sensitivity of the B...

The Kerr/CFT correspondence is a possible route to gain insight into the quantum theory of gravity in the near-horizon region of a Kerr black hole via a dual holographic conformal field theory (CFT). Predictions of the black hole entropy, scattering cross section and the quasinormal modes from the dual holographic CFT corroborate this proposed corr...

The first direct observations of gravitational waves (GWs) by the LIGO collaboration have motivated different tests of General Relativity (GR), including the search for extra pulses following the GR waveform for the coalescence of compact objects. The motivation for these searches comes from the alternative proposal that the final compact object co...

The cold dark matter model predicts that dark matter haloes are connected by filaments. Direct measurements of the masses and structure of these filaments are difficult, but recently several studies have detected these dark-matter-dominated filaments using weak lensing. Here we study the efficiency of galaxy formation within the filaments by measur...

The Kerr/CFT correspondence is a possible route to gain insight into the quantum theory of gravity in the near-horizon region of a Kerr black hole via a dual holographic conformal field theory (CFT). Predictions of the black hole entropy, scattering cross-section and the quasi normal modes from the dual holographic CFT corroborate this proposed cor...

In this paper, which is of programmatic rather than quantitative nature, we aim to further delineate and sharpen the future potential of the LISA mission in the area of fundamental physics. Given the very broad range of topics that might be relevant to LISA, we present here a sample of what we view as particularly promising directions, based in par...

Searches for gravitational wave echoes in the aftermath of mergers and/or formation of astrophysical black holes have recently opened a novel and surprising window into the quantum nature of their horizons. Similar to astro- and helioseismology, a study of the spectrum of quantum black holes provides a promising method to understand their inner str...

With the advent of gravitational wave astronomy, searching for gravitational wave echoes from black holes (BHs) is becoming an interesting probe of their quantum nature near their horizons. Newborn BHs may be strong emitters of echoes, as they accompany large perturbations in the surrounding spacetime upon formation. Utilizing the Quantum Black Hol...

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused significant mortality and morbidity worldwide, sparing almost no community. As the disease will likely remain a threat for years to come, an understanding of the precise influences of human demographics and settlement, as well as the dynamic factors of climate, susceptible depletion, and intervention, on the sprea...

One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of theoretical cosmologists is the halo model of large scale structure, which provides a phenomenological description of nonlinear structure in our universe. However, it is well known that there is no simple way to impose conservation laws in the halo model. This can severely impair the predictions on l...

The holographic interpretation of the Randall-Sundrum model based on the adaptation of the AdS/CFT correspondence to the braneworld scenario states that the black holes localized on the brane are quantum corrected. This can be better understood from the fact that the classical AdS5 bulk dynamics is dual to gravity coupled with CFT on the four dimen...

Characterizing the physical properties of the stochastic gravitational waves background (SGWB) is a key step towards identifying the nature of its possible origin. We focus our analysis on SGWB anisotropies. The existence of a non-trivial primordial scalar-tensor-tensor (STT) correlation in the squeezed configuration may be inferred from the effect...

With the advent of gravitational wave astronomy, searching for gravitational wave echoes from black holes (BHs) is becoming an interesting probe of their quantum nature near their horizons. Newborn BHs may be strong emitters of echoes, as they accompany large perturbations in the surrounding spacetime upon formation. Utilizing the Quantum Black Hol...

Most measurements of mass in astronomy that use kinematics of stars or gas rely on assumptions of equilibrium that are often hard to verify. Instead, we develop a novel idea that uses the clustering in action space, as a probe of the underlying gravitational potential: the correct potential should maximize small-scale clustering in the action space...

Two seemingly distinct notions regarding black holes have captured the imagination of theoretical physicists over the past decade: first, black holes are conjectured to be fast scramblers of information, a notion that is further supported through connections to quantum chaos and decay of mutual information via AdS/CFT holography. Second, black hole...

We study how the evaporation rate of spherically symmetric black holes is affected through the extraction of radiation close to the horizon. We adopt a model of extraction that involves a perfectly absorptive screen placed close to the horizon and show that the evaporation rate can be changed depending on how close to the horizon the screen is plac...

Black Holes are possibly the most enigmatic objects in our universe. From their detection in gravitational waves upon their mergers, to their snapshot eating at the centres of galaxies, black hole astrophysics has undergone an observational renaissance in the past four years. Nevertheless, they remain active playgrounds for strong gravity and quant...

Searches for gravitational wave echoes in the aftermath of mergers and/or formation of astrophysical black holes have recently opened a novel and surprising window into the quantum nature of their horizons. Similar to Astro- and Helioseismology, study of the spectrum of quantum black holes provides a promising method to understand their inner struc...

The cold dark matter model predicts that dark matter haloes are connected by filaments. Direct measurements of the masses and structure of these filaments are difficult, but recently several studies have detected these dark-matter-dominated filaments using weak lensing. Here we study the efficiency of galaxy formation within the filaments by measur...

We provide an updated assessment of the fundamental physics potential of LISA. Given the very broad range of topics that might be relevant to LISA, we present here a sample of what we view as particularly promising directions, based in part on the current research interests of the LISA scientific community in the area of fundamental physics. We org...

Black Holes are possibly the most enigmatic objects in our Universe. From their detection in gravitational waves upon their mergers, to their snapshot eating at the centres of galaxies, black hole astrophysics has undergone an observational renaissance in the past 4 years. Nevertheless, they remain active playgrounds for strong gravity and quantum...

One of the most triumphant predictions of the theory of general relativity was the recent LIGO-Virgo detection of gravitational-wave (GW) signals produced in binary black hole (BH) mergers. However, it is suggested that exotic compact objects, proposed in quantum gravity models of BHs, may produce similar classical GW waveforms, followed by delayed...

The holographic interpretation of the Randall-Sundrum model based on the adaptation of the AdS/CFT correspondence to the braneworld scenario states that the black holes localized on the brane are {\it quantum corrected}. This can be better understood from the fact that the classical $AdS_{5}$ bulk dynamics is dual to gravity coupled with CFT on the...

Gravitational wave echoes provide our most direct and surprising observational window into quantum nature of black holes. Three years ago, the first search for echoes from Planck-scale modifications of general relativity near black hole event horizons led to tentative evidence at false detection probability of 1\% arXiv:1612.00266 . The study intro...

One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of theoretical cosmologists is the halo model of large scale structure, which provides a phenomenological description of nonlinear structure in our universe. However, it is well known that there is no simple way to impose conservation laws in the halo model. This can severely impair the predictions on l...

One of the most ubiquitous features of quantum theories is the existence of zero-point fluctuations in their ground states. For massive quantum fields, these fluctuations decouple from infrared observables in ordinary field theories. However, there is no "decoupling theorem" in Quantum Gravity, and we recently showed that the vacuum stress fluctuat...

Most measurements of mass in Astronomy that use kinematics of stars or gas rely on assumptions of equilibrium that are often hard to verify. Instead, we develop a novel idea, first proposed by Sanderson et al. (2015), that uses the clustering in action space, as a probe of underlying gravitational potential; The correct potential should maximize sm...

Two seemingly distinct notions regarding black holes have captured the imagination of theoretical physicists over the past decade: First, black holes are conjectured to be fast scramblers of information, a notion that is further supported through connections to quantum chaos and decay of mutual information via AdS/CFT holography. Second, black hole...

We propose a cosmological model, üΛCDM, based on “über gravity,” which is a canonical ensemble average of many theories of gravity. In this model, we have a sharp transition from (a purely) ΛCDM era to a phase in which the Ricci scalar is a constant. This transition occurs when the Ricci scalar reaches a critical scale or alternatively a transition...

We study the reflectivity of quantum black hole (BH) horizons using detailed balance and fluctuation-dissipation theorem, finding a universal flux reflectivity given by the Boltzmann factor ${\mathcal R} = \exp\left(-{\hbar |\omega| \over k T_{\rm H}}\right)$, where $\omega$ is frequency in the horizon frame and $T_{\rm H}$ is the Hawking temperatu...

One of the most triumphant predictions of the theory if general relativity was the recent LIGO-Virgo detection of gravitational wave (GW) signals produced in binary black hole (BH) mergers. However, it is suggested that exotic compact objects, proposed in quantum gravity models of BHs, may produce similar classical GW waveforms, followed by delayed...

It has been suggested that the cosmic history might repeat in cycles, with an infinite series of similar aeons in the past and the future. Here, we instead propose that the cosmic history repeats itself exactly, constructing a universe on a periodic temporal history, which we call Periodic Time Cosmology. In particular, the primordial power spectru...

Quantum nature of black hole horizons has been a subject of recent interest and scrutiny. In particular, a near-horizon quantum violation of the equivalence principle has been proposed as a resolution of the black hole information paradox. Such a violation may lead to a modified dispersion relation at high energies, which could become relevant due...

We compute the instantaneous temperature registered by an Unruh-DeWitt detector coupled to a Hadamard renormalizable massless quantum field in a generic state, which is moving along an accelerated trajectory in curved spacetime. The general expression for the temperature depends on the 4-acceleration, Raychaudhuri scalar, and renormalized field pol...

We investigate a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) as a gravitational wave detector, and study its sensitivity by optimizing the properties of the condensate and the measurement duration. We show that detecting kilohertz gravitational waves is limited by current experimental techniques in squeezing BEC phonons, while at higher frequencies, decoherence...