Reionization history and CMB parameter estimation
29. November 2012
A. Moradinezhad Dizgah, N. Gnedin, W. H. Kinney, JCAP 1305 (2013) 017
We study how uncertainty in the reionization history of the universe affects estimates of other cosmological parameters from the Cosmic Microwave Background. We analyze WMAP7 data and synthetic Planck-quality data generated using a realistic scenario for the reionization history of the universe obtained from high-resolution numerical simulation. We perform parameter estimation using a simple sudden reionization approximation, and using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) technique proposed by Mortonson and Hu. We reach two main conclusions: (1) Adopting a simple sudden reionization model does not introduce measurable bias into values for other parameters, indicating that detailed modeling of reionization is not necessary for the purpose of parameter estimation from future CMB data sets such as Planck. (2) PCA analysis does not allow accurate reconstruction of the actual reionization history of the universe in a realistic case.