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Title: Primordial magnetic fields in the post-recombination era and early reionization
Authors: Sethi, S.K.
Subramanian, Kandaswamy
Keywords: magnetic fields
cosmology: theory
large-scale structure of Universe
Issue Date: Jan-2005
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing for the Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2005, Vol.356, Issue 2, p778-788.
Abstract: We explore the ways in which primordial magnetic fields influence the thermal and ionization history of the post-recombination Universe. After recombination, the Universe becomes mostly neutral, resulting also in a sharp drop in the radiative viscosity. Primordial magnetic fields can then dissipate their energy into the intergalactic medium via ambipolar diffusion and, for small enough scales, by generating decaying magnetohydrodynamics turbulence. These processes can significantly modify the thermal and ionization history of the post-recombination Universe. We show that the dissipation effects of magnetic fields, which redshifts to a present value B0= 3 × 10-9 G smoothed on the magnetic Jeans scale and below, can give rise to Thomson scattering optical depths τ〉~ 0.1, although not in the range of redshifts needed to explain the recent Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) polarization observations. We also study the possibility that primordial fields could induce the formation of subgalactic structures for z〉~ 15. We show that early structure formation induced by nanoGauss magnetic fields is potentially capable of producing the early reionization implied by the WMAP data. Future cosmic microwave background observations will be very useful to probe the modified ionization histories produced by primordial magnetic field evolution and constrain their strength.
Description: Restricted Access. An open access version is available at of the alternative locations)
ISSN: 0035-8711
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Copyright: 2005 Royal Astronomical Society
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (A&A)

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