The Princeton IQU Experiment and constraints on the polarization of the cosmic microwave background at 90 GHz
The polarization anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background provide important information about the structure and dynamics of the early universe. This cosmological polarization has thus far eluded detection, which is not surprising because it should be an extremely small signal (an order of magnitude smaller than the temperature anisotropies, or about 5 μK rms variations in 3K thermal radiation). The Princeton IQU Experiment, or PIQUE, is an effort to measure this tiny polarized signal using two correlation polarimeters operating at W-band (84 100 GHz) and Q-band (35 46 GHz). This work describes the construction, characterization, observations and preliminary results from the W-band system, which observed the sky around the north celestial pole over two successive winters (2000 and 2001), and acquired 500 hours of useful data. These data yield one of the tightest constraints on the cosmological polarization to date.
- Pub Date:
- May 2002
- Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics