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Design and deployment of bicep: a novel small-aperture CMB polarimeter to test inflationary cosmology


Yoon, Ki Won (2008) Design and deployment of bicep: a novel small-aperture CMB polarimeter to test inflationary cosmology. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


BICEP is a ground-based millimeter-wave bolometric array designed to study the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) and galactic foreground emission. Such measurements probe the energy scale of the inflationary epoch, tighten constraints on cosmological parameters, and verify our current understanding of CMB physics. BICEP consists of a 250 mm aperture refractive telescope that provides an instantaneous field-of-view of 17 degrees with angular resolution of 0.93 and 0.60 degrees at 100 GHz and 150 GHz, respectively, coupled to a focal plane of 98 polarization-sensitive bolometers. This work details the design and characterization of the instrument, with discussion of preliminary results from data collected beginning inaugural 2006 observing season at the South Pole through present. Instrument testing indicates that the systematic contaminations of the B-mode will be below the threshold required for probing down to a tensor/scalar ratio of r = 0.1. Positive detection of the E-mode polarization is reported, while the B-mode maps are consistent with noise. In addition, the fractional polarization of the galactic foreground is constrained to f < 0.05 at moderate galactic latitudes.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:b-mode; cmb; cosmology; inflation; instrument; polarization; south pole
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lange, Andrew E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Lange, Andrew E. (chair)
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
  • Kamionkowski, Marc P.
  • Golwala, Sunil
Defense Date:8 October 2007
Non-Caltech Author Email:kiwon (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10092007-162326
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4002
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:25 Oct 2007
Last Modified:30 Dec 2013 15:54

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