The Keck Array: Continuing the search for inflationary relics through degree-scale CMB polarimetry
One of the key predictions of inflation is a Cosmic Gravitational-wave Background (CGB). This CGB, produces a faint, but unique, B-mode polarization signature in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at angular scales between 2 and 4 degrees. The BICEP1 experiment is the current standard bearer in the search for B-modes constraining r<0.75). Although with more sensitivity, measurements of r=0.01 should be within experimental reach. The BICEP2 (2010) and Keck Array (2011) experiments use the same optical design and systematic controls employed by BICEP1, while also taking advantage of large format detector arrays which are now possible with modern TES sensor technology. By increasing the number of pixels, BICEP2 promises a factor of 9 increase in mapping speed, while the Keck Array istargeting an eventual factor of ~40 greater mapping speed over BICEP1. In this seminar I will outline the BICEP1/BICEP2/Keck observing program, and give a status report from the recent Keck Array deployment.
Date: Thursday, 17 March 2011 Time: 12:00 Where: McGill University Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, Room 305A/B Contact: Matt Dobbs