E/Bdecomposition of finite pixelized CMB maps

Emory F. Bunn, Matias Zaldarriaga, Max Tegmark, Angelica de Oliveira-Costa
2003 Physical Review D, Particles and fields  
Separation of the E and B components of a microwave background polarization map or a weak lensing map is an essential step in extracting science from it, but when the map covers only part of the sky and/or is pixelized, this decomposition cannot be done perfectly. We present a method for decomposing an arbitrary sky map into a sum of three orthogonal components that we term "pure E", "pure B" and "ambiguous". This method is useful both for providing intuition for experimental design and for
more » ... yzing data sets in practice. We show how to find orthonormal bases for all three components in terms of bilaplacian eigenfunctions. The number of ambiguous modes is proportional to the length of the map boundary so fairly round maps are preferred. For real-world data analysis, we present a simple matrix eigenvalue method for calculating nearly pure E and B modes in pixelized maps. We find that the dominant source of leakage between E and B is aliasing of small-scale power caused by the pixelization. This problem can be eliminated by heavily oversampling the map, but is exacerbated by the fact that the E power spectrum is expected to be much larger than the B power spectrum and extremely blue. We found that a factor of 2 to 3 more pixels are needed in a polarization map to achieve the same level of contamination by aliased power than in a temperature map.
doi:10.1103/physrevd.67.023501 fatcat:z4oy667jk5dozgrqu6juegxxta