Abstract:
A topologically finite universe, smaller than the observable horizon, will have circles-in-the-sky: pairs of circles around which the temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background are correlated. The circles occur along the intersection of copies of the spherical surface of last scattering. For any observer moving with respect to the microwave background, the circles will be deformed into ovals. The ovals will also be displaced relative to the direction they appear in a comoving frame. The displacement is the larger of the two effects. In a Lorenz boosted frame, the angular displacement of a point on the surface of last scattering relative to the comoving frame is proportional to the velocity. For the Earth's motion, the effect is on the order of 0.14 degrees at the very worst. If we live in a small universe and are looking for an identical copy of a spot in the sky, it may be displaced by as much as 0.14 degrees from where we expect. This can affect all pattern based searches for the topology of the universe. In particular, high-resolution searches for circle pairs could be off by this much.

Abstract:
We investigate the implications of energy-dependence of the speed of photons, one of the candidate effects of quantum-gravity theories that has been most studied recently, from the perspective of observations in different reference frames. We examine how a simultaneous burst of photons would be measured by two observers with a relative velocity, establishing some associated conditions for the consistency of theories. For scenarios where the Lorentz transformations remain valid these consistency conditions allow us to characterize the violations of Lorentz symmetry through an explicit description of the modification of the quantum-gravity scale in boosted frames with respect to its definition in a preferred frame. When applied to relativistic scenarios with a deformation of Lorentz invariance that preserves the equivalence of inertial observers, we find an insightful characterization of the necessity to adopt in such frameworks non-classical features of spacetime geometry, e.g. events that are at the same spacetime point for one observer cannot be considered at the same spacetime point for other observers. Our findings also suggest that, at least in principle (and perhaps one day even in practice), measurements of the dispersion of photons in relatively boosted frames can be particularly valuable for the purpose of testing these scenarios.

Abstract:
We study the geometric effects of our galaxy's peculiar motion on the circles-in-the-sky. We show that the shape of these circles-in-the-sky remains circular, as detected by a local observer with arbitrary peculiar velocity. Explicit expressions for the radius and center position of such an observed circle-in-the-sky, as well as for the angular displacement of points on the circle, are derived. In general, a circle is detected as a circle of different radius, displaced relative to its original position, and centered at a point which does not correspond to its detected center in the comoving frame. Further, there is an angular displacement of points on the circles. These effects all arise from aberration of cosmic microwave background radiation, exhausting the purely geometric effects due to the peculiar motion of our galaxy, and are independent of both the large scale curvature of space and the expansion of the universe, since aberration is a purely local phenomenon. For a Lorentz-boosted observer with the speed of our entire galaxy, the maximum (detectable) changes in the angular radius of a circle, its maximum center displacement, as well as the maximum angular distortion are shown all to be of order $\beta=(v/c)$ radians. In particular, two back-to-back matching circles in a finite universe will have an upper bound of $2|\beta|$ in the variation of either their radii, the angular position of their centers, or the angular distribution of points.

Abstract:
A Lorentz boosted two-nucleon potential is introduced in the context of equal time relativistic quantum mechanics. The dynamical input for the boosted nucleon-nucleon (NN) potential is based on realistic NN potentials, which by a suitable scaling of the momenta are transformed into NN potentials belonging to a relativistic two-nucleon Schroedinger equation in the c.m. system. This resulting Lorentz boosted potential is consistent with a previously introduced boosted two-body t-matrix. It is applied in relativistic Faddeev equations for the three-nucleon bound state to calculate the ^3H binding energy. Like in previous calculations the boost effects for the two-body subsystems are repulsive and lower the binding energy.

Abstract:
When modeling laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) using the particle-in-cell (PIC) algorithm in a Lorentz boosted frame, the plasma is drifting relativistically at $\beta_b c$ towards the laser, which can lead to a computational speedup of $\sim \gamma_b^2=(1-\beta_b^2)^{-1}$. Meanwhile, when LWFA is modeled in the quasi-3D geometry in which the electromagnetic fields and current are decomposed into a limited number of azimuthal harmonics, speedups are achieved by modeling three dimensional problems with the computation load on the order of two dimensional $r-z$ simulations. Here, we describe how to combine the speed ups from the Lorentz boosted frame and quasi-3D algorithms. The key to the combination is the use of a hybrid Yee-FFT solver in the quasi-3D geometry that can be used to effectively eliminate the Numerical Cerenkov Instability (NCI) that inevitably arises in a Lorentz boosted frame due to the unphysical coupling of Langmuir modes and EM modes of the relativistically drifting plasma in these simulations. In addition, based on the space-time distribution of the LWFA data in the lab and boosted frame, we propose to use a moving window to follow the drifting plasma to further reduce the computational load. We describe the details of how the NCI is eliminated for the quasi-3D geometry, the setups for simulations which combine the Lorentz boosted frame and quasi-3D geometry, the use of a moving window, and compare the results from these simulations against their corresponding lab frame cases. Good agreement is obtained, particularly when there is no self-trapping, which demonstrates it is possible to combine the Lorentz boosted frame and the quasi-3D algorithms when modeling LWFA to achieve unprecedented speedups.

Abstract:
The observed angular correlation function of the cosmic microwave background has previously been reported to be anomalous, particularly when measured in regions of the sky uncontaminated by Galactic emission. Recent work by Efstathiou et al. presents a Bayesian comparison of isotropic theories, casting doubt on the significance of the purported anomaly. We extend this analysis to all anisotropic Gaussian theories with vanishing mean ( = 0), using the much wider class of models to confirm that the anomaly is not likely to point to new physics. On the other hand if there is any new physics to be gleaned, it results from low-l alignments which will be better quantified by a full-sky statistic. We also consider quadratic maximum likelihood power spectrum estimators that are constructed assuming isotropy. The underlying assumptions are therefore false if the ensemble is anisotropic. Nonetheless we demonstrate that, for theories compatible with the observed sky, these estimators (while no longer optimal) remain statistically superior to pseudo-C_l power spectrum estimators.

Abstract:
We describe and compare two types of microwave sky simulations which are good for small angular scales. The first type uses expansions in spherical harmonics, and the second one is based on plane waves and the Fast Fourier Transform. The angular power spectrum is extracted from maps corresponding to both types of simulations, and the resulting spectra are appropriately compared. In this way, the features and usefulness of Fourier simulations are pointed out. For $\ell \geq 100$, all the simulations lead to similar accuracies; however, the CPU cost of Fourier simulations is $\sim 10$ times smaller than that for spherical harmonic simulations. For $\ell \leq 100$, the simulations based on spherical harmonics seem to be preferable.

Abstract:
The Two-Point Angular Correlation Function is a standard analysis tool used to study angular anisotropies. Since BATSE's sky exposure (the angular sampling of gamma-ray bursts) is anisotropic, the TPACF should at some point identify anisotropies in BATSE burst catalogs due to sky exposure. The effects of BATSE sky exposure are thus explored here for BATSE 3B and 4B catalogs. Sky-exposure effects are found to be small.

Abstract:
Modeling of laser-plasma wakefield accelerators in an optimal frame of reference \cite{VayPRL07} is shown to produce orders of magnitude speed-up of calculations from first principles. Obtaining these speedups requires mitigation of a high-frequency instability that otherwise limits effectiveness in addition to solutions for handling data input and output in a relativistically boosted frame of reference. The observed high-frequency instability is mitigated using methods including an electromagnetic solver with tunable coefficients, its extension to accomodate Perfectly Matched Layers and Friedman's damping algorithms, as well as an efficient large bandwidth digital filter. It is shown that choosing the frame of the wake as the frame of reference allows for higher levels of filtering and damping than is possible in other frames for the same accuracy. Detailed testing also revealed serendipitously the existence of a singular time step at which the instability level is minimized, independently of numerical dispersion, thus indicating that the observed instability may not be due primarily to Numerical Cerenkov as has been conjectured. The techniques developed for Cerenkov mitigation prove nonetheless to be very efficient at controlling the instability. Using these techniques, agreement at the percentage level is demonstrated between simulations using different frames of reference, with speedups reaching two orders of magnitude for a 0.1 GeV class stages. The method then allows direct and efficient full-scale modeling of deeply depleted laser-plasma stages of 10 GeV-1 TeV for the first time, verifying the scaling of plasma accelerators to very high energies. Over 4, 5 and 6 orders of magnitude speedup is achieved for the modeling of 10 GeV, 100 GeV and 1 TeV class stages, respectively.

Abstract:
Laser driven plasma accelerators promise much shorter particle accelerators but their development requires detailed simulations that challenge or exceed current capabilities. We report the first direct simulations of stages up to 1 TeV from simulations using a Lorentz boosted calculation frame resulting in a million times speedup, thanks to a frame boost as high as gamma=1300. Effects of the hyperbolic rotation in Minkowski space resulting from the frame boost on the laser propagation in the plasma is shown to be key in the mitigation of a numerical instability that was limiting previous attempts.