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Physics Department Colloquium
Detection of B-mode polarization at 150GHz and degree angular scales by BICEP2 and Keck Array
Date: Friday, February 27th
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2241 Chamberlin Hall (coffee at 4:30 pm)
Speaker: Dr. Clem Pryke, University of Minnesota
Abstract: The theory of Cosmic Inflation postulates that our entire observable universe was spawned from a quantum fluctuation in an incredibly brief burst of hyper expansion. Inflation makes several predictions which appear to match features of the actual Universe in which we find ourselves, and, in addition, predicts that a background of gravitational waves will exist which may produce a specific observable feature in the polarization pattern of the Cosmic Microwave Background - the long sought B-mode polarization. Using data from a specialized radio telescope called BICEP2 operating from the South Pole in Antarctica our collaboration reported last year a highly significant detection of B-modes at 150GHz and few degree angular scales. However in a recently submitted joint analysis with the Planck space mission we find that, once an unexpectedly high level of polarized emission from dust grains in our own galaxy is taken into account, there is not currently significant evidence for a gravitational wave signal. I will describe the background, the results, and the ongoing BICEP/Keck-Array experimental program.
Host: Halzen
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