BICEP2 researchers publish nuanced account of stunning patterns in the microwave sky

Jun 19, 2014
BICEP2 researchers publish nuanced account of stunning patterns in the microwave sky
BICEP2 T, Q, U maps. The left column shows the basic signal maps with 0.25° pixelization as output by the reduction pipeline. The right column shows difference (jackknife) maps made with the first and second halves of the data set. No additional filtering other than that imposed by the instrument beam (FWHM 0.5°) has been done. Note that the structure seen in the Q and U signal maps is as expected for an E-mode dominated sky. Credit: American Physical Society

Following a thorough peer-review process, the researchers who previously announced the detection of B-mode polarization in a patch of the microwave sky have published their findings today in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The researchers provide some evidence that the signals they have found may be the result of from the earliest moments of the universe's existence and thus might constitute the first observation of phenomena from the rapid expansion of the universe known as the inflationary period.

The results from the BICEP2 experiment, the second generation of the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization experiment, are controversial in the astrophysics community, with various experts proposing that the signal may be an artifact resulting from distortions created by Galactic dust.

The BICEP2 collaboration addresses these claims directly, changing, removing and adding some analyses, but they acknowledge that they cannot rule out the possibility that dust may be partly or entirely responsible for the gravitational-wave-like signals. They anticipate that forthcoming data will resolve this question about their potentially groundbreaking research.

Explore further: Are the BICEP2 results invalid? Probably not

More information: Paper: Detection of -Mode Polarization at Degree Angular Scales by BICEP2, journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/… ysRevLett.112.241101

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User comments : 3

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hemitite
5 / 5 (1) Jun 19, 2014
There's another group with an antenna down Antarctica way that is supposed to announce their results rather soon, so stay tuned!
flashgordon
1 / 5 (2) Jun 19, 2014
We know there's gravitational waves through orbiting pulsar data(not to mention gravitational lensing pictures); we know inflation happened through Cobe/Wmap . . . do actually think there's no gravitational waves from the c.b.r?
theon
5 / 5 (2) Jun 20, 2014
We've seen a loose cable making neutrinos exceed the speed of light, emergence making gravity nonexistent and now a bad screen shot at a conference producing primordial gravitational waves. Anybody in need of more examples to understand that science should not be a theater?
George_Rajna
Jun 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
otero
Jul 03, 2014
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