21-cm fluctuations from primordial magnetic fields

Hector Afonso G. Cruz, Tal Adi, Jordan Flitter, Marc Kamionkowski, Ely D. Kovetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fluid forces associated with primordial magnetic fields (PMFs) generate small-scale fluctuations in the primordial density field, which add to the ΛCDM linear matter power spectrum on small scales. These enhanced small-scale fluctuations lead to earlier formation of galactic halos and stars and thus affect cosmic reionization. We study the consequences of these effects on 21-cm observables using the seminumerical code 21cmFAST v3.1.3. We find the excess small-scale structure generates strong stellar radiation backgrounds in the early Universe, resulting in altered 21-cm global signals and power spectra commensurate with earlier reionization. We restrict the allowed PMF models using the CMB optical depth to reionization. Lastly, we probe parameter degeneracies and forecast experimental sensitivities with an information matrix analysis subject to the cosmic microwave background (CMB) optical depth bound. Our forecasts show that interferometers like HERA are sensitive to PMFs of order ∼pG, nearly an order of magnitude stronger than existing 21-cm observatories and future standalone CMB experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023518
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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