Reionization and Beyond: detecting the peaks of the cosmological 21cm signal

Kavli Affiliate: Jacqueline Hewitt

| First 5 Authors: Andrei Mesinger, Aaron Ewall-Wice, Jacqueline Hewitt, ,

| Summary:

[ABRIDGED] The cosmological 21cm signal is set to become the most powerful
probe of the early Universe, with first generation interferometers aiming to
make statistical detections of reionization. There is increasing interest also
in the pre-reionization epoch when the intergalactic medium was heated by an
early X-ray background. Here we perform parameter studies varying the halo
masses hosting galaxies, and their X-ray production efficiencies. We also
relate these to popular models of Warm Dark Matter cosmologies. For each
parameter combination we compute the signal-to-noise (S/N) of the large-scale
(k~0.1/Mpc) 21cm power for both reionization and X-ray heating for a 2000h
observation with several instruments: 128 tile Murchison Wide Field Array
(MWA128T), a 256 tile extension (MWA256T), the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), the
128 element Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER), and
the second generation Square Kilometre Array (SKA). We show that X-ray heating
and reionization in many cases are of comparable detectability. For fiducial
astrophysical parameters, MWA128T might detect X-ray heating thanks to its
extended bandpass. When it comes to reionization, both MWA128T and PAPER will
also only achieve marginal detections, unless foregrounds on larger scales can
be mitigated. On the other hand, LOFAR should detect plausible models of
reionization at S/N > 10. The SKA will easily detect both X-ray heating and
reionization.

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