BCCP Seminars

Tuesday, February 3

Location: UCB, 131A Campbell Hall, 1:10 pm
Speaker: Kam Arnold
Title: “Fundamental Physics with Cosmic Microwave Background Polarimetry”
Abstract: The polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) offers a unique window onto cosmology that can provide information about neutrinos, dark matter, dark energy, large-scale structure formation, and physics at 10^16 GeV energy scales. Several important measurements of CMB polarization were reported last year, including the first-season results from POLARBEAR. With those measurements, we showed the gravitational lensing of the CMB by large-scale structure using CMB polarization data alone, and a measurement of a non-zero B-mode polarization angular power spectrum. Going forward, our expansion of POLARBEAR – the Simons Array – will produce more precise observations in multiple spectral bands over a large fraction of the sky. The Simons Array, powerful as a standalone experiment, is also a technological pathfinder for both the CMB-S4 experiment described in the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel report, and for the LiteBIRD satellite, which we recently proposed to NASA as a partner mission with JAXA. Together, the Simons Array and LiteBIRD will measure the sum of the neutrino masses with the precision necessary to determine their mass hierarchy, and make a deep search for the inflationary B-mode signal, producing a detection with significance > 10 sigma of the B-modes predicted by all large-field inflation models.

Tuesday, February 10

Location: UCB, 131A Campbell Hall, 1:10 pm
Speaker: Michael Wiemack
Title: “Probing fundamental physics and cosmic structure by measuring the CMB”
Abstract: The cosmic microwave background¬† (CMB) has proven to be a powerful probe of the physics and cosmology of our universe. CMB observations are helping to address fundamental questions, such as the nature of dark energy and dark matter, and are being used to probe the physics of inflation at energies a trillion times higher than the Large Hadron Collider. Recent measurements led to several exciting first detections, including CMB lensing, massive galaxy clusters, the large-scale velocity field, and the “B-mode” component of the polarization field. I will discuss these results, novel superconducting detector and optics instrumentation developed for the 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope, and unique capabilities of the recently-funded Advanced ACTPol project. I will also describe the science potential of next generation observatories, including the ultimate “Stage-IV” CMB survey, and how superconducting detector arrays of the future could revolutionize photon-detection capabilities spanning eight orders of magnitude in wavelength.