POLARBEAR has now mapped these angles with resolution on a scale of approximately three arcminutes.
Cosmologists have obtained the most precise measurements yet of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. Their findings are described in the Astrophysical Journal
“It’s a really important milestone,” said Kam Arnold, a research scientist at UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences. “We’re in a new regime of more powerful, precision cosmology.”
Cosmologists have developed sensitive instruments known as bolometers to measure the Universe’s oldest light. The bolometers record the direction of the light’s electric field from multiple points in the sky.
“It’s a map of all these little directions that the light’s electric field is pointing,” Arnold said.
POLARBEAR, a partnership of more than 70 scientists employing a telescope high in Chile’s Atacama desert, has now mapped these angles with resolution on a scale of approximately three arcminutes.
“POLARBEAR is a real tour de force. With a relatively small, but strong, UC-led team we have surpassed the next-nearest competitors by an order of magnitude in sensitivity. We have paved the way towards solving the deepest mysteries in the quest to understand matter and energy at the beginning of time,” said Brian Keating, assistant professor of physics at UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences.