Browsing by Subject "Teoreettinen fysiikka"

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  • Lehtola, Jussi (Helsingfors universitet, 2008)
    The molecular level structure of mixtures of water and alcohols is very complicated and has been under intense research in the recent past. Both experimental and computational methods have been used in the studies. One method for studying the intra- and intermolecular bindings in the mixtures is the use of the so called difference Compton profiles, which are a way to obtain information about changes in the electron wave functions. In the process of Compton scattering a photon scatters inelastically from an electron. The Compton profile that is obtained from the electron wave functions is directly proportional to the probability of photon scattering at a given energy to a given solid angle. In this work we develop a method to compute Compton profiles numerically for mixtures of liquids. In order to obtain the electronic wave functions necessary to calculate the Compton profiles we need some statistical information about atomic coordinates. Acquiring this using ab-initio molecular dynamics is beyond our computational capabilities and therefore we use classical molecular dynamics to model the movement of atoms in the mixture. We discuss the validity of the chosen method in view of the results obtained from the simulations. There are some difficulties in using classical molecular dynamics for the quantum mechanical calculations, but these can possibly be overcome by parameter tuning. According to the calculations clear differences can be seen in the Compton profiles of different mixtures. This prediction needs to be tested in experiments in order to find out whether the approximations made are valid.
  • Remes, Jere (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Even after 50 years, there is still no standard, analytically tractable way to treat Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) non-numerically besides perturbation theory. In the high-energy regime perturbation theory agrees with experimental results to a great accuracy. However, at low energies the theory becomes strongly coupled and therefore not computable by perturbative methods. Therefore, non-perturbative methods are needed, and one of the candidates is light-front holography. In this thesis, the basics of light-front quantisation and holography are discussed. Light-front quantisation takes light-cone coordinates and the Hamiltonian quantisation scheme as its basis and the resulting field theory has many beneficial properties like frame-independence. Still, to extract meaningful results from the light-front QCD, one needs to apply bottom-up holographic methods. Last part of this work focuses on the applicability of light-front holographic QCD in the area of dark matter. We find that one can build a secluded SU(3) sector consisting of a doublet of elementary particles, analogous to quarks and gluons. Due to a global symmetry, the lightest stable particle is analogous with ordinary neutron. It meets the basic requirements for being a WIMP candidate when its mass is higher than 5 TeV.
  • Savolainen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    A new theoretical model for the structure of glasses is presented and used to study the boson peak found in glasses. The model is based on a simple lattice model familiar from crystals, which is disordered using techniques from noncommutative fluid models. First classical crystal models and concepts of lattice vibrations are reviewed, focusing on acoustic and optical waves, the density of vibrational states, heat capacity and the Debye model. Then noncommutative fluid theory and noncommutative geometry are shortly introduced to show the connection to fluids in our model. After these introductions, the glass model is formulated and used to calculate the dispersion relations, the density of vibrational states and the heat capacity. The density of states has a Van Hove singularity at low frequencies, which generates the boson peak seen in experiments. The glass is found to have both acoustic and optical waves, and the acoustic waves are located very close to the frequency of the Van Hove singularity, which hints that the boson peak should be related to acoustic waves.
  • Sarkar, Subhojit (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The SM, conceptually and phenomenologically fails to incorporate and explain few fundamental problems of particle physics and cosmology, such as a viable dark matter candidate, mechanism for inflation, neutrino masses, the hierarchy problem etc. In addition, the recent discovery of the 125 GeV Higgs boson and the top quark mass favor the metastablility of the electroweak vacuum, implying the Higgs boson is trapped in a false vacuum. In this thesis we propose the simplest extension of the SM by adding an extra degree of freedom, a scalar singlet. The singlet can mix with the Higgs field via the Higgs portal, and as a result we obtain two scalar mass eigenstates (Higgs-like and singlet-like). We identify the lighter mass eigenstate with the 125 GeV SM Higgs boson. Due to the mixing, the SM Higgs quartic coupling receives a finite tree level correction which can make the electroweak vacuum completely stable. We then study the stability bounds on the tree level parameters and determine the allowed mass region of the heavier mass eigenstate (or singlet-like) for range of mixing angles where all the bounds are satisfied. We also obtain regions of parameter space for different signs of the Higgs portal coupling. In the allowed region, the singlet-like state can decay into two Higgs-like states. We find the corresponding decay rate to be substantial. Finally, we review various applications of the singlet extension, most notably, to the problem of dark matter and inflation.
  • Pensala, Tuukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    We review basics of quantum field theories (QFT) and lattice field theories (LFT). We present, evaluate, and compare possible solutions for creating portable high performance LFT simulation programs. We choose one of the possible solutions, creating our own programming language, discuss its features the our prototype of it. Last we present improvement ideas to the implemented solution.
  • Romppainen, Jonna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Surface diffusion in metals can be simulated with the atomistic kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) method, where the evolution of a system is modeled by successive atomic jumps. The parametrisation of the method requires calculating the energy barriers of the different jumps that can occur in the system, which poses a limitation to its use. A promising solution to this are machine learning methods, such as artificial neural networks, which can be trained to predict barriers based on a set of pre-calculated ones. In this work, an existing neural network based parametrisation scheme is enhanced by expanding the atomic environment of the jump to include more atoms. A set of surface diffusion jumps was selected and their barriers were calculated with the nudged elastic band method. Artificial neural networks were then trained on the calculated barriers. Finally, KMC simulations of nanotip flattening were run using barriers which were predicted by the neural networks. The simulations were compared to the KMC results obtained with the existing scheme. The additional atoms in the jump environment caused significant changes to the barriers, which cannot be described by the existing model. The trained networks also showed a good prediction accuracy. However, the KMC results were in some cases more realistic or as realistic as the previous results, but often worse. The quality of the results also depended strongly on the selection of training barriers. We suggest that, for example, active learning methods can be used in the future to select the training data optimally.
  • Säppi, Matias (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This thesis discusses various topics related to the study of strongly coupled quantum field theories at finite density or, equivalently, finite chemical potential. In particular, the focus is on the theory of strong interactions, quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Finite-density QCD is important in the description of numerous physical systems such as neutron stars or heavy-ion collisions, a brief overview of which are given, alongside with the QCD phase diagram as motivational examples. After this, the general construction of a Lagrangian finite-density quantum field theory is described. In contrast with the zero-density setting, a finite-density field theory does not admit a simple description on the lattice, rendering this standard approach to strongly coupled theories impractical due to the so-called sign problem. Various attempts of addressing the sign problem are reviewed, and the so-called Lefschetz thimble approach and the complex Langevin method are discussed in detail. Some mathematical details related to these approaches are elaborated in the appendices. Due to the impracticality of lattice methods, a perturbative description becomes more important at finite density. Perturbative finite-density QCD and methods useful in practical calculations are discussed. Amongst them is a detailed proof of a set of so-called 'cutting rules' that apply to zero-temperature finite-density quantum field theory, an example computation using these rules as well as a discussion on various divergences and their relation to zero-density theory.
  • Polvi, Jussi (Helsingfors universitet, 2007)
    Monissa viimeaikaisissa tutkimuksissa on tutkittu aurinkotuulen dynaamisen paineen vaikutusta revontulialueen hiukkaspresipitaatioon. Tutkimukset ovat kuitenkin perustuneet muutamaan yksittäiseen tapaukseen ja laskevan dynaamisen paineen vaikutuksia ei juuri ole tarkasteltu. Tämän opinnäytetyön tavoitteena oli selvittää suuremmasta statistiikasta aurinkotuulen dynaamisen paineen nousujen ja laskujen vaikutusta ionosfäärin dynamiikkaan. Paineen muutoksia etsittiin ACE:n mittausdatasta vuosilta 1998 2004 ja ionosfäärin vastetta näihin muutoksiin tutkittiin käyttäen IMAGE-magnetometriverkon tuottamaa magneettisen aktiivisuuden indeksiä (IE-indeksi). Tutkimuksen kohteeksi valittiin 286 painepulssia, joita edelsi ja seurasi tasaisen paineen jakso, sekä 171 vastaavaa paineen laskua (negatiivista painepulssia). Näiden paineen muutosten ionosfäärivastetta tutkittaessa käytettiin tilastollista superposed epoch -menetelmää. Tutkimuksen tulokseksi saatiin selvä positiivinen korrelaatio IE-indeksin ja aurinkotuulen dynaamisen paineen välillä. Korrelaatio on vähemmän selkeää paineen laskujen kuin nousujen yhteydessä. Tälle on useita mahdollisia selityksiä: Tutkimusaineisto paineen laskuista oli suppeampi. Toisin kuin painepulsseihin, paineen laskuihin ei liittynyt aurinkotuulen nopeuden muutosta. Lisäksi IMF:n magnitudi kasvoi lähes kaikkien paineen laskujen aikana, joten magnitudin ja IE:n välinen positiivinen korrelaatio voisi peittää paineen laskun vaikutusta. Eteläisen IMF:n painepulssien aikana IE:n muutokset aiheutuivat enimmäkseen läntisen elektrojetin vahvistumisesta ja pohjoisen IMF:n aikana havaitut IE:n muutokset liittyivät enemmän itäiseen elektrojettiin. Aurinkotuulen dynaamisen paineen ja elektrojettien korrelaation selitykseksi tarjotaan ionosfääriin saapuvien kentänsuuntaisten virtojen välityksellä tapahtuvaa kytkentää aurinkotuuleen. IMF:n z-komponentin suunnalla oli odotetun merkittävä vaikutus IE:n yleiseen tasoon, mutta IE:n korrelaatio paineen muutosten kanssa oli samaa tasoa z-komponentin etumerkistä riippumatta. Myös IMF:n y-komponentti osoittautui merkittäväksi pohjoisen IMF:n aikana, sillä tällöin IE:n yleinen taso oli korkeampi ja paineen muutosten vaikutus paljon selkeämpi IMF:n y-komponentin ollessa positiivinen kuin negatiivinen.
  • Puonti, Oula (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides spatially accurate, three dimensional structural images of the human brain in a non-invasive way. This allows us to study the structure and function of the brain by analysing the shapes and sizes of different brain structures in an MRI image. Morphometric changes in different brain structures are associated with many neurological and psychiatric disorders, for example Alzheimer's disease. Tracking these changes automatically using automated segmentation methods would aid in diagnosing a particular brain disease and follow its progression. In this thesis we present a method for automatic segmentation of MRI brain scans using parametric generative models and Bayesian inference. Our method segments a given MRI scan to 41 different structures including for example hippocampus, thalamus and ventricles. In contrast to the current state-of-the-art methods in whole-brain segmentation, our method does not pose any constraints on the MRI scanning protocol used to acquire the images. Our model is based on two parts: the first part is a labeling model that models the anatomy of the brain and the second part is an imaging model that relates the label images to intensity images. Using these models and Bayesian inference we can find the most probable segmentation of a given MRI scan. We show how to train the labeling model using manual segmentations performed by experts and how to find optimal imaging model parameters using expectation-maximization (EM) optimizer. We compare our automated segmentations against expert segmentations by means of Dice scores and point out places for improvement. We then extend the labeling and imaging models and show, using a database consisting of MRI scans of 30 subjects, that the new models improve the segmentations compared to the original models. Finally we compare our method against the current state-of-the-art segmentation methods. The results show that the new models are an improvement over the old ones, and compare fairly well against other automated segmentation methods. This is encouraging, because there is still room for improvement in our models. The labeling model was trained using only nine expert segmentations, which is quite a small amount, and the automated segmentations should improve as the number of training samples grows. The upside of our method is that it is fast and generalizes straightforwardly to MRI images with varying contrast properties.
  • Patomäki, Sofia (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    In a quantum computer, the information carriers, which are bits in ordinary computers, are implemented as devices that exhibit coherent superpositions of physical states and entanglement. Such components, known as quantum bits or qubits, can be realized with various different types of two-state quantum systems. Quantum computers will be built for computational speed, with hoped for applications especially in cryptography and in other tasks where classical computers remain inefficient. Circuit quantum electrodynamics (cQED) is a quantum-computer architecture which employs superconducting electronic components and microwave photon fields as building blocks. Compared to cavity quantum electrodynamics (CQED), where atoms are trapped in physical cavities, cQED is more attractive in that its qubits are tunable and conveniently integrable with the electronics already in use. This architecture has shown some of the most promising qubit designs, despite their coherence times reaching tens of microseconds, are still below the state of the art with spin qubits, which reach milliseconds. Coherence times are historically the most relevant parameters describing the fitness of a qubit, although these days not necessarily the limiting factor. This thesis presents a comprehensive set of theoretical and experimental methods for measuring the characteristic parameters of superconducting qubits. We especially study transmission-line-shunted plasma oscillation qubits, or transmons, and presents experimental results for a single sample. Transmon capacitively couples a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) with a coplanar waveguide (CPW) resonator, often with added frequency tunability utilizing an external magnet. The number of superconducting charge carriers tunnelled through a junction in the SQUID are used as qubit degrees of freedom. Readout of the qubit state is carried out by measuring transmission through the CPW. A cryogenic setup is employed with measurement and driving pulses delivered from microwave sources. Steady-state spectroscopy is employed to determine the resonance frequencies of the qubit and the resonator, qubit-resonator coupling constants, and the energy parameters of the qubit. Pulse-modulated measurements are employed to determine the coherence times of the qubit. The related analysis- and simulation programs and scripts are collected
  • Koivunen, Niko (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Flavour violating processes have never been observed for charged leptons, electron, muon and tau. The existence of charged lepton flavour violating (CLFV) processes is however expected, since flavour is violated by all the other fermions of the standard model (SM). In the standard model the neutrinos are massless, which forbids the mixing of neutrino flavour and also the violation of lepton flavour. The zero mass of the neutrinos in the SM is in conflict with the experimentally observed neutrino oscillations. The standard model has to be extended to include massive neutrinos. The easiest way to explain the neutrino mass is to assume that they acquire masses in the same way as the rest of the SM fermions: in the Higgs mechanism. This way however leads to problems with the naturality of the neutrino Yukawa coupling. One of the most popular methods of generating the neutrino mass is the so called seesaw mechanism (type-I). The standard model, extended with the neutrino masses, allows the charged lepton flavour to be violated. This leads to unobservably small transition rates however. Therefore an observation of charged lepton flavour violating process would be a clear evidence of the existence of new physics beyond the standard model and it's trivial extensions. To have hope of ever observing charged lepton flavour violating processes, there must be an extension of the standard model which produces observable, though small, rates for CLFV processes. One of the most popular extensions of the standard model is the so called minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM). The neutrinos are massless in the MSSM, as they are in SM, and therefore CLFV processes are forbidden in the MSSM. Luckily the neutrino masses can be generated via seesaw mechanism in the MSSM as well as in the SM. The MSSM contains more potential sources for CLFV processes than the SM. The extra sources are the soft mass parameters of the sleptons. In supersymmetric models the sleptons couple to the leptons through the slepton-lepton-gaugino-vertices. These generate the CLFV processes at the loop-level. Often the off-diagonal soft terms are assumed zero in the MSSM at the input scale, where the supersymmetry breaks. Experiments are done at much lower electroweak scale. The soft SUSY-breaking terms acquire large radiative corrections as they are run from the input scale down to the electroweak scale. Here the seesaw mechanism kicks in. The seesaw mechanism brings with it the off-diagonal neutrino Yukawa coupling matrices. This allows the off-diagonal slepton mass terms to evolve non-zero at the electroweak scale. In this thesis the charged lepton flavour violation is discussed first in the context of the standard model. Then the CLFV processes, l_i → (l_j γ), l_i → (l_j l_k l_l) and l_i ↔ l_j, are studied in the most general way: in the effective theories. Finally the charged lepton flavour violation is studied in the supersymmetric theories in general and more specifically in the minimal supersymmetric standard model extended with the seesaw mechanism (type-I).
  • Nurmela, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    We study a system of cold high-density matter consisting purely of quarks and gluons. The mathematical construction of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) introduces interactions between the fields, which modify the thermodynamic properties of the system. In the presence of interactions, we can not solve the thermodynamic properties of the system analytically. The method is to expand the result in a series in terms of the QCD coupling constant. This is referred to as the perturbation theory in the context of thermal field theory (TFT). The coupling constant describes the strength of the interaction. We introduce the basic calculation methods used in the QCD and the TFTs in general. We will also include the chemical potential associated with the number of quarks in the system in the calculation. In the case of zero temperature, quarks form a Fermi-sphere such that energy states lower than the chemical potential will be Pauli blocked. The resulting fermionic momentum integrals are modified as a consequence. We can split these integrals into two parts, referred to as the vacuum and matter parts. We can split the calculation of the pressure into two distinct contributions: one from skeleton diagrams and one from ring diagrams. The ring diagrams have unphysical IR divergences that we can not cancel using the counterterms. This is why hard thermal loop (HTL) effective field theory (EFT) is introduced. We will discuss this HTL framework, which requires the computation of the matter part of the gluon polarization tensor, which we will also evaluate in this thesis.
  • Pönni, Arttu (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The AdS/CFT correspondence is the first realization of the holographic principle. The holographic principle makes the bold statement that in a theory of quantum gravity all information in a region of spacetime can be completely described by information on its boundary. This would make the universe in certain sense a hologram, as our spacetime and everything in it could be described by some fundamental degrees of freedom living on the boundary of spacetime. Gauge/gravity dualities realize the holographic principle by stating that string theory in ten-dimensional spacetime and certain gauge field theories living on its boundary can be equivalent descriptions of the same physics. The AdS/CFT correspondence was the first one of these dualities to be discovered. The correspondence equates type IIB string theory on AdS_5× S^5 with \mathcal{N}=4 super Yang-Mills theory living on four-dimensional Minkowski space, which is the boundary of five-dimensional anti-de Sitter space, AdS_5. In this thesis, we first briefly review the necessary theoretical components, which are combined in the correspondence. Then, the AdS/CFT correspondence is motivated by considering the low energy limit of string theory in a spacetime with a stack of coincident D3-branes. The third part of this work is dedicated to the study of the properties and dynamics of the anti-de Sitter bulk. A black hole solution with an asymptotically AdS background is discussed along with its thermodynamics, and the connection with the dual field theory is emphasized. Then we present a model for a collapsing shell in AdS space and solve its dynamics. The black hole state, which the collapsing shell approaches corresponds to thermal equilibrium in the dual field theory. Lastly, we consider our shell model in the context of the AdS/CFT correspondence and present a method for computing two-point correlation functions on the field theory side. This method is then used to compute retarded correlators in a two-dimensional CFT in finite temperature. We are able to reproduce previous results obtained using different computational methods, following a seminal work of Son and Starinets.
  • Järvi, Jari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HPs) are a novel materials class in photovoltaic (PV) power generation. The PV performance of HPs is impressive, although the microscopic origin of it is not well known due to the complex atomic structure of HPs. Specifically, the disordered mobile organic cations aggravate the use of conventional computational models. I have addressed this structural complexity by developing a multi-scale model that applies quantum mechanical (QM) calculations of small HP supercell models in large coarse-grained structures. With a mixed QM-classical hopping model, I have studied the effects of cation disorder on charge mobility in HPs, which is a key feature to optimize their PV performance. My multi-scale model parametrizes the interaction between neighboring methylammonium cations (MA) in the prototypical HP material, methylammonium lead triiodide (CH3NH3PbI3, or MAPbI3). For the charge mobility analysis with my hopping model, I solved the QM site-to-site hopping probabilities analytically and computed the nearest-neighbor electronic coupling energies from the band structure of MAPbI3 with density-functional theory. I investigated the charge mobility in various MAPbI3 supercell models of ordered and disordered MA cations. My results indicate a structure-dependent mobility, in range of 50–66 cm2/Vs, with the highest observed in the ordered tetragonal phase. My multi-scale model enables the study of long-range atomistic processes in complex structures in an unprecedented scale with QM accuracy, with potential applications way beyond this study.
  • Sandhu, Jaspreet (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This thesis aims to cover the central aspects of the current research and advancements in cosmic topology from a topological and observational perspective. Beginning with an overview of the basic concepts of cosmology, it is observed that though a determinant of local curvature, Einstein's equations of relativity do not constrain the global properties of space-time. The topological requirements of a universal space time manifold are discussed, including requirements of space-time orientability and causality. The basic topological concepts used in classification of spaces, i.e. the concept of the Fundamental Domain and Universal covering spaces are discussed briefly. The manifold properties and symmetry groups for three dimensional manifolds of constant curvature for negative, positive and zero curvature manifolds are laid out. Multi-connectedness is explored as a possible explanation for the detected anomalies in the quadrupole and octopole regions of the power spectrum, pointing at a possible compactness along one or more directions in space. The statistical significance of the evidence, however, is also scrutinized and I discuss briefly the bayesian and frequentist interpretation of the posterior probabilities of observing the anomalies in a ΛCDM universe. Some of the major topologies that have been proposed and investigated as possible candidates of a universal manifold are the Poincare Dodecahedron and Bianchi Universes, which are studied in detail. Lastly, the methods that have been proposed for detecting a multi-connected signature are discussed. These include ingenious observational methods like the circles in the sky method, cosmic crystallography and theoretical methods which have the additional advantage of being free from measurement errors and use the posterior likelihoods of models. As of the recent Planck mission, no pressing evidence of a multi connected topology has been detected.
  • Tomberg, Eemeli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Cosmic inflation is a hypothetical period in the early universe, where the expansion of space accelerated. Inflation explains many properties of the observed universe, but its cause is not known. Higgs inflation is a model where inflation is caused by the Higgs field of the Standard Model of particle physics, coupled non-minimally to gravity. In this thesis, we study various aspects of cosmology with Higgs inflation. Inflation leaves marks on the cosmic microwave background radiation, and these marks can be used to distinguish inflationary models from each other. We study hilltop Higgs inflation, a model where quantum corrections produce a local maximum into the Higgs potential, and show that there the predicted tensor-to-scalar ratio is less than or equal to 1.2 × 10^-3. This is smaller than the prediction of tree-level Higgs inflation by a factor of four or more and can be probed by next-generation microwave telescopes. We also study reheating, the process where the universe transitions from inflation to radiation domination with a thermal bath of relativistic Standard Model particles. We show that in Higgs inflation, reheating is particularly efficient in the Palatini formulation of general relativity, because there Higgs bosons are produced violently by a tachyonic instability. The duration of reheating affects, for example, the predicted spectral index of the primordial perturbations. Finally, we discuss the production of primordial black holes in Higgs inflation. We show that large quantities of such black holes can be produced, but in order to satisfy observational constraints on large scales, they must be so small that they would have evaporated by now by Hawking radiation. However, if the evaporating black holes left behind Planck mass relics, these could constitute part or all of the dark matter, the dominant, unknown matter component of the universe. Together, these studies show that even though the ingredients that go into Higgs inflation are simple, they lead to a rich phenomenology and offer valuable insights into inflation, gravitational degrees of freedom and the origin of dark matter.
  • Sassi, Sebastian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    When the standard model gauge group SU(3) × SU(2) × U(1) is extended with an extra U(1) symmetry, the resulting Abelian U(1) × U(1) symmetry introduces a new kinetic mixing term into the Lagrangian. Such double U(1) symmetries appear in various extensions of the standard model and have therefore long been of interest in theoretical physics. Recently this kinetic mixing has received attention as a model for dark matter. In this thesis, a systematic review of kinetic mixing and its physical implications is given, some of the dark matter candidates relying on kinetic mixing are considered, and experimental bounds for kinetic mixing dark matter are discussed. In particular, the process of diagonalizing the kinetic and mass terms of the Lagrangian with a suitable basis choice is discussed. A rotational ambiquity arises in the basis choice when both U(1) fields are massless, and it is shown how this can be addressed. BBN bounds for a model with a fermion in the dark sector are also given based on the most recent value of the effective number of neutrino species, and it is found that a significant portion of the FIMP regime is excluded by this constraint.
  • Tomberg, Eemeli (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    In this thesis, we study the decoherence of cosmological scalar perturbations during inflation. We first discuss the FRW model and cosmic inflation. Inflation is a period of accelerated expansion in the early universe, in typical models caused by a scalar field called inflaton. We review cosmological perturbation theory, where perturbations of the inflaton field and scalar degrees of freedom of the metric tensor are combined into the gauge-invariant Sasaki-Mukhanov variable. We quantize this variable using canonical quantization. Then, we discuss how interactions between the perturbations and their environment can lead to decoherence. In decoherence, the reduced density operator of the perturbations becomes diagonal with respect to a particular pointer basis. We argue that the pointer basis for the cosmological scalar perturbations consists of approximate eigenstates of the field value operator. Finally, we discuss how decoherence can help understand the transition from quantum theory to classical perturbation theory, and justify the standard treatment of perturbations and their initial conditions in cosmology. We conclude that since decoherence should not spoil the observationally successful predictions of this standard treatment, it is unlikely that the actual amount of decoherence could be observed in, say, the CMB radiation.
  • Smolander, Tuomo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Remote sensing of soil permittivity and soil freezing was investigated using two different satellite based microwave radars: ASCAT and ASAR. ASCAT is a scatterometer with a good temporal resolution but coarse spatial resolution. ASAR is a synthetic aperture radar and has fine spatial resolution, but lacks good temporal coverage. Soil permittivity is related to soil moisture, which is considered an essential climate vari- able since it has an effect on both weather and climate. Soil freezing affects hydrological and carbon cycles, surface energy balance, photosynthesis of vegetation and the activity of soil microbes. A semi-empirical model for backscattering of forested land was used to acquire soil permittivity retrievals from satellite measurements using the method of least squares. The onset of soil freezing was determined from the permittivity retrievals using a simple threshold method. A five year time series of satellite observations from July 2007 to June 2012 (April 2012 for ASAR) was investigated in Sodankylä in Northern Finland. The satellite based retrievals were compared against in situ measurements of soil permittivity, soil temperature, soil frost and snow depth. According to the results the satellite permittivity retrievals correlate with each other, but not with in situ permittivity measurements. ASCAT retrieval shows some correlation with in situ temperature measurements, which could impair its correlation with in situ permittivity. The explanation for this phenomenon needs further research. Comparison of soil freezing onset dates from satellite retrievals with in situ soil temperature and soil frost measurements showed quite good agreement for most years, and did not seem to be affected by first snowfall, even though the permittivity retrievals appeared to react in a similar way to snow cover and soil freezing. This indicates that with better calibration of the permittivity threshold limit this method could be used for soil freeze detection. Auxiliary information about air temperature and snow cover could also be used to filter out possible false estimates before freezing and after the snow cover starts to affect the satellite retrievals.
  • Lumme, Erkka (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Magnetic field has a central role in many dynamical phenomena in the solar corona, and the accurate determination of the coronal magnetic field holds the key to solving a whole range of open research problems in solar physics. In particular, realistic estimates for the magnetic structure of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) enable better understanding of the initiation mechanisms of these eruptions as well as more accurate forecasts of their space weather effects. Due to the lack of direct measurements of the coronal magnetic field the best way to study the field evolution is to use data-driven modelling, in which routinely available photospheric remote sensing measurements are used as a boundary condition. Magnetofrictional method (MFM) stands out from the variety of existing modelling approaches as a particularly promising method. The approach is computationally inexpensive but still has sufficient physical accuracy. The data-based input to the MFM is the photospheric electric field as the photospheric boundary condition. The determination of the photospheric electric field is a challenging inversion problem, in which the electric field is deduced from the available photospheric magnetic field and plasma velocity measurements. This thesis presents and discusses the state-of-the-art electric field inversion methods and the properties of the currently available photospheric measurements. The central outcome of the thesis project is the development and testing of a novel ELECTRICIT software toolkit that processes the photospheric magnetic field data and uses it to invert the photospheric electric field. The main motivation for the toolkit is the coronal modelling using MFM, but the processed magnetic field and electric field data products of the toolkit are usable also in other applications such as force-free extrapolations or high-resolution studies of photospheric evolution. This thesis presents the current state of the ELECTRICIT toolkit as well as the optimization and first tests of its functionality. The tests show that the toolkit can already in its current state produce photospheric electric field estimates to a reasonable accuracy, despite the fact that some of the state-of-the-art electric field inversion methods are yet to be implemented in the toolkit. Moreover, the optimal values of the free parameters in the currently implemented inversion methods are shown to be physically justifiable. The electric field inversions of the toolkit are also used to study other questions. It is shown that the large noise levels of the vector magnetograms in the quiet Sun cause the inverted electric field to be noise-dominated, and thus the magnetic field data from this region should not be considered in the inversion. Another aspect that is studied is the electric field inversion based only on line-of-sight (LOS) magnetograms, which is a considerable option due to much shorter cadence and better availability of the LOS data. The tests show that the inversions based on the LOS data have large errors when compared to the vector data based inversions. However, the results are shown to have reasonable consistency in the horizontal components of the electric field, when the region of interest is near the centre of the solar disk.