Can Self-Ordering Scalar Fields explain the BICEP2 B-mode signal?

Research paper by Ruth Durrer, Daniel G. Figueroa, Martin Kunz

Indexed on: 15 Apr '14Published on: 15 Apr '14Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics


We show that self-ordering scalar fields (SOSF), i.e. non-topological cosmic defects arising after a global phase transition, cannot explain the B-mode signal recently announced by BICEP2. We compute the full $C_\ell^{B}$ angular power spectrum of B-modes due to the vector and tensor perturbations of SOSF, modeled in the large-N limit of a spontaneous broken global O(N) symmetry. We conclude that the low-$\ell$ multipoles detected by BICEP2 cannot be due mainly to SOSF, since they have the wrong spectrum at low multipoles. As a byproduct we derive the first cosmological constraints on this model, showing that the BICEP2 B-mode polarization data admits at most a 2-3% contribution from SOSF in the temperature anisotropies, similar to (but somewhat tighter than) the recently studied case of cosmic strings.