BICEP results are challenged
I have commented in several postings (this , this , this , and this ) the BICEP claim of having detected primordial B-modes in the polarization of cosmic microwave background (CMB). The claim was that effect was produced by the interaction of microwave photons from the effects caused by primordial gravitons on the space-time geometry caused by the presence of the gravitons. The effect was unexpectedly large and challenges quantum field theoretic description used in inflation paradigm: note that inflation paradigm postulates the existence of Higgs like particle called inflaton.
BICEP signal is taken only at single frequency: 150 GHz. Planck has published a polarization at 353 GHz demonstrating that there may be a significant foreground emission from the galactic dust in the parts of sky studied by BICEP. The Planck collaboration has masked the results in BICEP patch: this does not certainly help BICEP team in their work. It is a pity that competition between research groups leads to this kind of secrecy.
Whether or not the BICEP finding is correct does not affect much neither inflationary models or TGD model. In inflationary approach there are so many variants to consider that one can always find candidate models. The reduction of B-mode contribution would be actually well-come since it would allow to get rid of the internal consistency problem. In TGD framework there is also rapid accelerating expansion analogous to that of inflationary expansion but the no inflatons are needed. Quantum criticality implies vanishing 3-curvature and this fixes the cosmology apart from the duration of the critical phase. The model is not quantum field theoretic anymore: gas of cosmic strings inside Minkowski space light-cone prevails before the inflationary period which is critical period for the phase transition to a radiation dominated cosmology. The problem is that one (more precisely, I) cannot really calculate precise prediction for the size of the effect.
The B-mode contribution should be disentangled from two foreground contributions from synchrotron radiation and galactic dust. The problems with BICEP are possibly related to the latter one. I cannot of course say anything interesting about the experimental side of the problem.
One can however ask TGD might predict new kind of synchrotron contribution. In TGD Universe magnetic flux tubes in various scales are basic objects and essential also in the model for temperature fluctuations and polarization of CMB resulting from slightly different temperatures for the two polarization of CMB. The magnetic flux tubes carry monopole fluxes making their existence possible without currents generating then. Their magnetic energy can be identified as dark energy. They carry also dark variants of ordinary particles identified as phases with Planck constant coming as integer multiple of the ordinary one. Could the charged particles - in particular electrons - rotating at cyclotron orbits at these flux tubes produce cyclotron radiation at CMB frequencies and thus giving rise to its apparent polarization?
Concerning cyclotron radiation one can consider relativistic/non-relativistic and classical/quantal situations.
- In Wikipedia there is article about classical model for cyclotron radiation. One expects that the qualitative aspects remain the same in quantal treatment. For planar motion around magnetic field the radiation has dipole pattern around the axis of motion in non-relativistic situation. In relativistic situation it is strongly peaked around the direction of motion at frequency of order γ3/ρ where ρ is the radius of the orbit which gradually decreases. Most of the radiation is in the plane orthogonal to the orbit and the polarization in the plane of the orbit is parallel to the plane and orthogonal to the line of sight.
- Quantum model might be relevant if the charged particles are in large heff phase at magnetic flux tubes and emit dark photons with scaled up energies. Dark photons would later transform to bunches of ordinary photons and if their energies are in the region corresponding to CMB they might produces additional contribution.
In quantum case the charged particles behaves like a 2-D harmonic oscillator in degrees of freedom orthogonal to the magnetic field and energy is quantized as multiples of the cyclotron energy E= n× heffω, ω = ZeB/m. Note the upwards scaling of energy by heff. The frequencies of the emitted radiation come a multiples of the cyclotron frequency and can be rather high. The Bohr radii of the orbits are quantized and the spiral orbit with decreasing radius is replaced with a sequence of circular orbits with instantaneous jumps to orbit with smaller radius. One expects that the general polarization characteristics are same as in the classical case and that classical description is a good approximation also now.
Could this kind of radiation give an apparent contribution to CMB? The following very naive scaling estimate is an attempt to answer the question.
- The local direction of the vector field defined by the local polarization of CMB photons should be equal to the local direction of magnetic flux tubes in question so that the polarization map would give a map of flux tubes carrying dark matter. This would be of course extremely nice.
- The condition that the radiation is in CMB range implies that the frequency is of order 100 GHz. Electron or electron Cooper is the best candidate for the dark charged particle in question. The cyclotron frequency of electron is $f= 6×105 Hz in the magnetic field of .2 Gauss (familiar to me from TGD inspired quantum biology!). From this one deduces that a magnetic fields in question should be in Tesla range if they are to affect the CMB background.
- If one requires quantization of the flux then minimal flux quantum for ordinary value of Planck constant would have a minimal thickness of order R=10 nm. By naive scaling the flux quantum is proportional to heff so that by a naive scaling the minimal radius of flux tube would scale like heff1/2 and be thus larger than 10 nm lower bound.
Macroscopic situation would correspond to very large thickness scaling as n1/2, where integer n characterizes the quantized flux. Macroscopic effective thickness is of course required by data. Very large values of heff or n would be required to give realistic values for the flux tube radius. In the fractal Universe of TGD a fractal hierarchy of flux tubes within flux tubes picture is expected and one could have bunches of flux tubes with thickness heff1/2× R.