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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
School of Physics and Astronomy

PI: Clement L. Pryke

Analysis of Data From the BICEP1/BICEP2/Keck-Array Experiments

BICEP1/BICEP2/Keck-Array are a series of progressively more sensitive Cosmic Microwave Background polarization telescopes sited at the South Pole in Antarctica. They are searching for the so-called "B-mode” signature predicted to be imprinted in the polarization pattern by gravity waves propagating through the primordial plasma. These gravity waves are predicted to exist if the cosmo-genic theory known as "Inflation” is correct. This theory attempts to explain the observed large-scale homogeneity and spatial flatness of the universe by positing a brief period of effectively super-luminal hyper expansion in the first miniscule fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

As is common in this field, data analysis relies heavily on signal and noise simulations in order to take account of the complex observing pattern and noise removal techniques employed. These simulations are computationally intensive, necessitating the use of the supercomputers.

Group Member

Christopher Sheehy, Graduate Student