Journal Article

CMB temperature polarization correlation and primordial gravitational waves

A. G. Polnarev, N. J. Miller and B. G. Keating

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 2, pages 1053-1063
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13101.x
CMB temperature polarization correlation and primordial gravitational waves

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We examine the use of the TE cross-correlation power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) as a complementary test to detect primordial gravitational waves (PGWs). The first method used is based on the determination of the lowest multipole, ℓ0, where the TE power spectrum, CTE, first changes sign. The second method uses Wiener filtering on the CMB TE data to remove the density perturbations contribution to the TE power spectrum. In principle this leaves only the contribution of PGWs. We examine two toy experiments (one ideal and another more realistic) to see their ability to constrain PGWs using the TE power spectrum alone. We found that an ideal experiment, one limited only by cosmic variance, can detect PGWs with a ratio of tensor to scalar metric perturbation power spectra r= 0.3 at 99.9 per cent confidence level using only the TE correlation. This value is comparable with current constraints obtained by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe based on the 2σ upper limits to the B-mode amplitude. We demonstrate that to measure PGWs by their contribution to the TE cross-correlation power spectrum in a realistic ground-based experiment when real instrumental noise is taken into account, the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, should be approximately three times larger.

Keywords: gravitational waves; polarization; cosmic microwave background; cosmological parameters

Journal Article.  9402 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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