Topics in Particle Astrophysics
Abstract
This dissertation consists of a study of two topics in particle astrophysics. In Part I, we examine the generation of microwave background radiation fluctuations due to an inflationary epoch in the early universe. In Chapter 1, we study the angular dependence of the threepoint correlation function of microwave background fluctuations. We use the standard techniques of field theory in curved spacetime to compute, up to an overall constant, the threepoint function of the inflaton field varphi and relate this to the threepoint function of microwave background temperature fluctuations. In Chapter 2, we study the dependence of the size of the fluctuations on the coupling constant lambda in the inflaton potential, and in particular we show that some claims in the literature that upper bounds on the size of the fluctuations do not put an upper bound on lambda are false. In Part II, we calculate the relic density of two supersymmetric particles with an eye to studying their viability as dark matter candidates. In Chapters 3 and 4, we compute corrections to the annihilation rate for binos (B) due to sfermion mixing (Chapter 3) and some loop effects (Chapter 4). We find that the effect of sfermion mixing may be large, both on the relic density of binos and their present annihilation crosssection, which affects their prospects for detection. The effect of the loop graphs we calculate is generically small, but can be large for bino masses near half the Z mass. In Chapter 5, we do a thorough calculation of the relic density of massive (_sp{~}>500 GeV) sneutrinos (~nu). We find that the relic density may lie in the cosmologically interesting region 0.1 _sp{~ }< Omega h^2 _sp{~}< 1.0 for sneutrino masses between 1 TeV and 4 TeV. Direct detection experiments require m _{~nu} _sp{~}< 2200 GeV and Omega_{~nu }h^2 _sp{~ }< 0.4.
 Publication:

Ph.D. Thesis
 Pub Date:
 January 1994
 Bibcode:
 1994PhDT........19F
 Keywords:

 MICROWAVE BACKGROUND RADIATION;
 Physics: Elementary Particles and High Energy, Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics