Various pulsar timing array (PTA) experiments (NANOGrav, EPTA, PPTA, CPTA, including data from InPTA) very recently reported evidence for excess red common-spectrum signals in their latest datasets, with inter-pulsar correlations following the Hellings-Downs pattern, pointing to a stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) origin. Focusing for concreteness on the NANOGrav signal (given that all signals are in good agreement between each other), I inspect whether it supports an inflationary SGWB explanation, finding that such an interpretation calls for an extremely blue tensor spectrum, with spectral index nT≃1.8±0.3, while Big Bang Nucleosynthesis limits require a very low reheating scale, Trh≲10GeV. While not impossible, an inflationary origin for the PTA signal is barely tenable: within well-motivated inflationary models it is hard to achieve such a blue tilt, whereas models who do tend to predict sizeable non-Gaussianities, excluded by observations. Intriguingly, ekpyrotic models naturally predict a SGWB with spectral index nT=2, although with an amplitude too suppressed to be able to explain the signal detected by PTA experiments. Finally, I provide explicit expressions for a bivariate Gaussian approximation to the joint posterior distribution for the intrinsic-noise amplitude and spectral index of the NANOGrav signal, which can facilitate extending similar analyses to different theoretical signals.

Inflationary interpretation of the stochastic gravitational wave background signal detected by pulsar timing array experiments / Vagnozzi, Sunny. - In: JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS. - ISSN 2214-4048. - 39:(2023), pp. 81-98. [10.1016/j.jheap.2023.07.001]

Inflationary interpretation of the stochastic gravitational wave background signal detected by pulsar timing array experiments

Sunny Vagnozzi
Primo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Various pulsar timing array (PTA) experiments (NANOGrav, EPTA, PPTA, CPTA, including data from InPTA) very recently reported evidence for excess red common-spectrum signals in their latest datasets, with inter-pulsar correlations following the Hellings-Downs pattern, pointing to a stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) origin. Focusing for concreteness on the NANOGrav signal (given that all signals are in good agreement between each other), I inspect whether it supports an inflationary SGWB explanation, finding that such an interpretation calls for an extremely blue tensor spectrum, with spectral index nT≃1.8±0.3, while Big Bang Nucleosynthesis limits require a very low reheating scale, Trh≲10GeV. While not impossible, an inflationary origin for the PTA signal is barely tenable: within well-motivated inflationary models it is hard to achieve such a blue tilt, whereas models who do tend to predict sizeable non-Gaussianities, excluded by observations. Intriguingly, ekpyrotic models naturally predict a SGWB with spectral index nT=2, although with an amplitude too suppressed to be able to explain the signal detected by PTA experiments. Finally, I provide explicit expressions for a bivariate Gaussian approximation to the joint posterior distribution for the intrinsic-noise amplitude and spectral index of the NANOGrav signal, which can facilitate extending similar analyses to different theoretical signals.
2023
Vagnozzi, Sunny
Inflationary interpretation of the stochastic gravitational wave background signal detected by pulsar timing array experiments / Vagnozzi, Sunny. - In: JOURNAL OF HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS. - ISSN 2214-4048. - 39:(2023), pp. 81-98. [10.1016/j.jheap.2023.07.001]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/384809
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