A Comparison of Cosmological Parameters Determined from CMB Temperature Power Spectra from the South Pole Telescope and the Planck Satellite

K. Aylor, Z. Hou, L. Knox, K. T. Story, B. A. Benson, L. E. Bleem, J. E. Carlstrom, C. L. Chang, H. M. Cho, R. Chown, T. M. Crawford, A. T. Crites, T. De Haan, M. A. Dobbs, W. B. Everett, E. M. George, N. W. Halverson, N. L. Harrington, G. P. Holder, W. L. HolzapfelJ. D. Hrubes, R. Keisler, A. T. Lee, E. M. Leitch, D. Luong-Van, D. P. Marrone, J. J. McMahon, S. S. Meyer, M. Millea, L. M. Mocanu, J. J. Mohr, T. Natoli, Y. Omori, S. Padin, C. Pryke, C. L. Reichardt, J. E. Ruhl, J. T. Sayre, K. K. Schaffer, E. Shirokoff, Z. Staniszewski, A. A. Stark, K. Vanderlinde, J. D. Vieira, R. Williamson

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The Planck cosmic microwave background temperature data are best fit with a ΛCDM model that mildly contradicts constraints from other cosmological probes. The South Pole Telescope (SPT) 2540 SPT-SZ survey offers measurements on sub-degree angular scales (multipoles ) with sufficient precision to use as an independent check of the Planck data. Here we build on the recent joint analysis of the SPT-SZ and Planck data in Hou et al. by comparing ΛCDM parameter estimates using the temperature power spectrum from both data sets in the SPT-SZ survey region. We also restrict the multipole range used in parameter fitting to focus on modes measured well by both SPT and Planck, thereby greatly reducing sample variance as a driver of parameter differences and creating a stringent test for systematic errors. We find no evidence of systematic errors from these tests. When we expand the maximum multipole of SPT data used, we see low-significance shifts in the angular scale of the sound horizon and the physical baryon and cold dark matter densities, with a resulting trend to higher Hubble constant. When we compare SPT and Planck data on the SPT-SZ sky patch to Planck full-sky data but keep the multipole range restricted, we find differences in the parameters n s and Ase-2τ. We perform further checks, investigating instrumental effects and modeling assumptions, and we find no evidence that the effects investigated are responsible for any of the parameter shifts. Taken together, these tests reveal no evidence for systematic errors in SPT or Planck data in the overlapping sky coverage and multipole range and at most weak evidence for a breakdown of ΛCDM or systematic errors influencing either the Planck data outside the SPT-SZ survey area or the SPT data at ℓ >.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The South Pole Telescope is supported by the National Science Foundation through grant PLR-1248097. Partial support is also provided by the NSF Physics Frontier Center grant PHY-1125897 to the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, the Kavli Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant GBMF 947. B. Benson was supported by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics. C. Reichardt acknowledges support from an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT150100074). The McGill group acknowledges funding from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Research Chairs program, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Work at Argonne National Laboratory was supported under U.S. Department of Energy contract DE-AC02-06CH11357. This work used resources made available on the Jupiter cluster, a joint data-intensive computing project between the High Energy Physics Division and the Computing, Environment, and Life Sciences (CELS) Directorate at Argonne National Laboratory. We thank G. Addison for pointing out the importance of the aberration correction.


  • cosmic background radiation
  • cosmology: observations

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