Abstract |
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[eng] We use Nambu-Goto numerical simulations to compute the cosmic microwave
background (CMB) temperature anisotropies induced at arcminute angular scales
by a network of cosmic strings in a Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW)
expanding universe. We generate 84 statistically independent maps on a 7.2
degree field of view, which we use to derive basic statistical estimators such
as the one-point distribution and two-point correlation functions. At high
multipoles, the mean angular power spectrum of string-induced CMB temperature
anisotropies can be described by a power law slowly decaying as \ell^{-p}, with
p=0.889 (+0.001,-0.090) (including only systematic errors). Such a behavior
suggests that a nonvanishing string contribution to the overall CMB
anisotropies may become the dominant source of fluctuations at small angular
scales. We therefore discuss how well the temperature gradient magnitude
operator can trace strings in the context of a typical arcminute
diffraction-limited experiment. Including both the thermal and nonlinear
kinetic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects, the Ostriker-Vishniac effect, and the
currently favored adiabatic primary anisotropies, we find that, on such a map,
strings should be ``eye visible,'' with at least of order ten distinctive
string features observable on a 7.2 degree gradient map, for tensions U down to
GU \simeq 2 x 10^{-7} (in Planck units). This suggests that, with upcoming
experiments such as the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), optimal
non-Gaussian, string-devoted statistical estimators applied to small-angle CMB
temperature or gradient maps may put stringent constraints on a possible cosmic
string contribution to the CMB anisotropies.
Comment: 17 pages, 9 figures. v2: matches published version, minor
clarifications added, typo in Eq. (8) fixed, results unchanged |