The quest for gravity wave b-modes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


One of the most exciting quests in all of contemporary science is to find hints that in the first tiny fraction of a second after the Big-Bang the Universe hyper-inflated by a factor of 1060. Such inflation will have injected gravity waves into the fabric of spacetime which will in turn have left a faint imprint in the polarization pattern of the Cosmic Microwave Background. This paper describes the history of polarization measurement, the experimental optimization of this latest search for the gravity wave imprint, and the current round of experiments and their various approaches to the challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2012
Event47th Rencontres de Moriond on Cosmology 2012 - La Thuile, Italy
Duration: Mar 10 2012Mar 17 2012


Conference47th Rencontres de Moriond on Cosmology 2012
CityLa Thuile

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EBEX is a 1.5 m aperture balloon based experiment funded by NASA which has been under preparation for several years. Its first science flight will be a ∼ 10 day circumpolar (“long duration” or LD) flight in Anarctica in late 2012. EBEX has 1500 TES bolometer detectors modulated by a continuously spinning half wave plate at 150, 250 and 410 GHz.

Funding Information:
SPIDER is a balloon based array of 0.3 m aperture telescopes funded by NASA. The telescope optics and focal planes are very similar to BICEP2 and Keck-Array. A circumpolar flight is planned for late 2013 with focal planes at 90, 150 and 280 GHz and a total of ∼ 2000 TES detectors.

Funding Information:
All the following experiments are (largely) funded by the US NSF and located at various sites in the Atacama desert in Chile.

Funding Information:
The following experiments are (largely) funded by the US NSF and located at the South Pole station in Antarctica.

Funding Information:
The author wishes to thank his collaborators and many other members of the CMB community for useful discussions, the NSF (grant number ANT-1110087) for funding, and the conference organizers.

Publisher Copyright:
© Published by ARISF, 2012.


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