Measurement of the CMB Polarization at 95 GHz from QUIET [article]

Immanuel Buder
<span title="2012-09-06">2012</span> <i > arXiv </i> &nbsp; <span class="release-stage" >pre-print</span>
(Abridged) Despite the great success of precision cosmology, cosmologists cannot fully explain the initial conditions of the Universe. Inflation, an exponential expansion in the first 10^-36s, is a promising potential explanation. A generic prediction of inflation is odd-parity (B-mode) polarization in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) aimed to limit or detect this polarization. We built a coherent pseudo-correlation microwave polarimeter. An array of
more &raquo; ... -produced modules populated the focal plane of a 1.4m telescope. Each module had a sensitivity to polarization of 756muK sqrts with a bandwidth of 10.7+/-1.1 GHz centered at 94.5+/-0.8 GHz; the combined sensitivity was 87+/-7muK sqrts. We incorporated deck rotation, an absorbing ground screen, a new time-stream double-demodulation technique, and optimized optics into the design to reduce instrumental polarization. We observed with this instrument at the Atacama Plateau in Chile between August 2009 and December 2010. We collected 5336.9 hours of CMB observation and 1090 hours of astronomical calibration. This thesis describes the analysis and results of these data. We characterized the instrument using the astronomical calibration data as well as purpose-built artificial sources. We developed noise modeling, filtering, and data selection following a blind-analysis strategy. Central to this strategy was a suite of 32 null tests, each motivated by a possible instrumental problem or systematic effect. We also evaluated the systematic errors in the blind stage of the analysis before the result was known. We then calculated the CMB power spectra using a pseudo-Cl cross-correlation technique that suppressed contamination and made the result insensitive to noise bias.
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