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  1. A bstract We present cosmological constraints on the sum of neutrino masses as a function of the neutrino lifetime, in a framework in which neutrinos decay into dark radiation after becoming non-relativistic. We find that in this regime the cosmic microwave background (CMB), baryonic acoustic oscillations (BAO) and (uncalibrated) luminosity distance to supernovae from the Pantheon catalog constrain the sum of neutrino masses ∑ m ν to obey ∑ m ν < 0 . 42 eV at (95% C.L.). While the bound has improved significantly as compared to the limits on the same scenario from Planck 2015, it still represents a significant relaxation of the constraints as compared to the stable neutrino case. We show that most of the improvement can be traced to the more precise measurements of low- ℓ polarization data in Planck 2018, which leads to tighter constraints on τ reio (and thereby on A s ), breaking the degeneracy arising from the effect of (large) neutrino masses on the amplitude of the CMB power spectrum. 
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  2. Abstract Dark radiation (DR) appears as a new physics candidate in various scenarios beyond the Standard Model. While it is often assumed that perturbations in DR are adiabatic, they can easily have an isocurvature component if more than one field was present during inflation, and whose decay products did not all thermalize with each other.By implementing the appropriate isocurvature initial conditions (IC), we derive the constraints on both uncorrelated and correlated DR density isocurvature perturbations from the full Planck 2018 data alone, and also in combination with other cosmological data sets.Our study on free-streaming DR (FDR) updates and generalizes the existing bound on neutrino density isocurvature perturbations by including a varying number of relativistic degrees of freedom, and for coupled DR (CDR) isocurvature, we derive the first bound. We also show that for CDRqualitatively new physical effects arise compared to FDR. One such effect is that for isocurvature IC, FDR gives rise to larger CMB anisotropies compared to CDR — contrary to the adiabatic case.More generally, we find that a blue-tilt of DR isocurvature spectrum is preferred. This gives rise to a larger value of the Hubble constant H 0 compared to the standard ΛCDM+Δ N eff cosmology with adiabatic spectra and relaxes the H 0  tension. 
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  3. A bstract The mirror twin Higgs model (MTH) is a solution to the Higgs hierarchy problem that provides well-predicted cosmological signatures with only three extra parameters: the temperature of the twin sector, the abundance of twin baryons, and the vacuum expectation value (VEV) of twin electroweak symmetry breaking. These parameters specify the behavior of twin radiation and the acoustic oscillations of twin baryons, which lead to testable effects on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and large-scale structure (LSS). While collider searches can only probe the twin VEV, through a fit to cosmological data we show that the existing CMB (Planck18 TTTEEE+lowE+lowT+lensing) and LSS (KV450) data already provide useful constraints on the remaining MTH parameters. Additionally, we show that the presence of twin radiation in this model can raise the Hubble constant H 0 while the scattering twin baryons can reduce the matter fluctuations S 8 , which helps to relax the observed H 0 and S 8 tensions simultaneously. This scenario is different from the typical ΛCDM + ∆ N eff model, in which extra radiation helps with the Hubble tension but worsens the S 8 tension. For instance, when including the SH0ES and 2013 Planck SZ data in the fit, we find that a universe with ≳ 20% of the dark matter comprised of twin baryons is preferred over ΛCDM by ∼ 4 σ . If the twin sector is indeed responsible for resolving the H 0 and S 8 tensions, future measurements from the Euclid satellite and CMB Stage 4 experiment will further measure the twin parameters to O (1 − 10%)-level precision. Our study demonstrates how models with hidden naturalness can potentially be probed using precision cosmological data. 
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  4. A bstract Cosmological phase transitions in the primordial universe can produce anisotropic stochastic gravitational wave backgrounds (GWB), similar to the cosmic microwave background (CMB). For adiabatic perturbations, the fluctuations in GWB follow those in the CMB, but if primordial fluctuations carry an isocurvature component, this need no longer be true. It is shown that in non-minimal inflationary and reheating settings, primordial isocurvature can survive in GWB and exhibit significant non-Gaussianity (NG) in contrast to the CMB, while obeying current observational bounds. While probing such NG GWB is at best a marginal possibility at LISA, there is much greater scope at future proposed detectors such as DECIGO and BBO. It is even possible that the first observations of inflation-era NG could be made with gravitational wave detectors as opposed to the CMB or Large-Scale Structure surveys. 
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  5. A bstract We explore the possibility of discovering the mirror baryons and electrons of the Mirror Twin Higgs model in direct detection experiments, in a scenario in which these particles constitute a subcomponent of the observed DM. We consider a framework in which the mirror fermions are sub-nano-charged, as a consequence of kinetic mixing between the photon and its mirror counterpart. We consider both nuclear recoil and electron recoil experiments. The event rates depend on the fraction of mirror DM that is ionized, and also on its distribution in the galaxy. Since mirror DM is dissipative, at the location of the Earth it may be in the form of a halo or may have collapsed into a disk, depending on the cooling rate. For a given mirror DM abundance we determine the expected event rates in direct detection experiments for the limiting cases of an ionized halo, an ionized disk, an atomic halo and an atomic disk. We find that by taking advantage of the complementarity of the different experiments, it may be possible to establish not just the multi-component nature of mirror dark matter, but also its distribution in the galaxy. In addition, a study of the recoil energies may be able to determine the masses and charges of the constituents of the mirror sector. By showing that the mass and charge of mirror helium are integer multiples of those of mirror hydrogen, these experiments have the potential to distinguish the mirror nature of the theory. We also carefully consider mirror plasma screening effects, showing that the capture of mirror dark matter particles in the Earth has at most a modest effect on direct detection signals. 
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  6. A bstract Heavy particles with masses much bigger than the inflationary Hubble scale H * , can get non-adiabatically pair produced during inflation through their couplings to the inflaton. If such couplings give rise to time-dependent masses for the heavy particles, then following their production, the heavy particles modify the curvature perturbation around their locations in a time-dependent and scale non-invariant manner. This results into a non-trivial spatial profile of the curvature perturbation that is preserved on superhorizon scales and eventually generates localized hot or cold spots on the CMB. We explore this phenomenon by studying the inflationary production of heavy scalars and derive the final temperature profile of the spots on the CMB by taking into account the subhorizon evolution, focusing in particular on the parameter space where pairwise hot spots (PHS) arise. When the heavy scalar has an $$ \mathcal{O} $$ O (1) coupling to the inflaton, we show that for an idealized situation where the dominant background to the PHS signal comes from the standard CMB fluctuations themselves, a simple position space search based on applying a temperature cut, can be sensitive to heavy particle masses M 0 /H * ∼ $$ \mathcal{O} $$ O (100). The corresponding PHS signal also modifies the CMB power spectra and bispectra, although the corrections are below (outside) the sensitivity of current measurements (searches). 
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