Joint Planck and WMAP assessment of low CMB multipoles

Iqbal, Asif ; Prasad, Jayanti ; Souradeep, Tarun ; Malik, Manzoor A. (2015) Joint Planck and WMAP assessment of low CMB multipoles Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2015 (06). No pp. given. ISSN 1475-7516

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The remarkable progress in cosmic microwave background (CMB) studies over past decade has led to the era of precision cosmology in striking agreement with the ΛCDM model. However, the lack of power in the CMB temperature anisotropies at large angular scales (low-ℓ), as has been confirmed by the recent Planck data also (up to 0ℓ=4), although statistically not very strong (less than 3σ), is still an open problem. One can avoid to seek an explanation for this problem by attributing the lack of power to cosmic variance or can look for explanations i.e., different inflationary potentials or initial conditions for inflation to begin with, non-trivial topology, ISW effect etc. Features in the primordial power spectrum (PPS) motivated by the early universe physics has been the most common solution to address this problem. In the present work we also follow this approach and consider a set of PPS which have features and constrain the parameters of those using WMAP 9 year and Planck data employing Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis. The prominent feature of all the models of PPS that we consider is an infra-red cut off which leads to suppression of power at large angular scales. We consider models of PPS with maximum three extra parameters and use Akaike information criterion (AIC) and Bayesian information criterion (BIC) of model selection to compare the models. For most models, we find good constraints for the cut off scale kc, however, for other parameters our constraints are not that good. We find that sharp cut off model gives best likelihood value for the WMAP 9 year data, but is as good as power law model according to AIC. For the joint WMAP 9 + Planck data set, Starobinsky model is slightly preferred by AIC which is also able to produce CMB power suppression up to 0ℓ≤3 to some extent. However, using BIC criteria, one finds model(s) with least number of parameters (power law model) are always preferred.

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