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A limit on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation

Citation

Cartwright, John Kenneth (2003) A limit on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-05292003-131234

Abstract

We describe polarization observations of the CMBR with the Cosmic Background Imager, a 13-element interferometer which operates in the 26-36 GHz band and is located on the Llano de Chajnantor in northern Chile. The array consists of 90 cm Cassegrain antennas mounted on a steerable platform which can be rotated about the optical axis to facilitate polarization observations. The CBI employs single-mode circularly polarized receivers and it samples multipoles from ell~400 to ell~4250. The instrumental polarization of the CBI was calibrated with 3C279, a bright polarized point source which was monitored with the VLA. Observations of two deep fields during the 2000 season yielded three limits (95% c.l.) for C_ell^EE under the assumption that C_ell^BB=0: 7.0 muK (ell=603); 12.8 muK (ell=1144); and 25.1 muK (ell=2048). The low-ell limit approaches the levels of fluctuations predicted by standard models.

This thesis also entailed the design and implementation of several major components of the CBI signal chain including the downconverter, the noise calibration system, and the low noise HEMT amplifiers. We discuss the design and performance of these critical systems.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:CMB; CMBR; cosmic microwave background radiation; cosmology; microwave; microwave instrumentation; polarization
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Astronomy
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Readhead, Anthony C. S.
Thesis Committee:
  • Phinney, E. Sterl (chair)
  • Lange, Andrew E.
  • Readhead, Anthony C. S.
  • Zmuidzinas, Jonas
  • Padin, Steve
Defense Date:12 November 2002
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05292003-131234
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd-05292003-131234
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2230
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:29 May 2003
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:48

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