POLARBEAR is a team of seventy cosmologists. They have succeeded in obtaining the most accurate measurement of cosmic microwave polarization till date. This was made possible through the use of a telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert. A report of the study is published in the Astrophysical Journal, October 20 issue.
Cosmic microwave background radiation is light left over from the Big Bang, 13.8 million years ago. The universe extended straightaway after the Big Bang, instigating the light to expanse into the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
To achieve extremely correct quantities of this background radiation, the POLARBEAR group, led by UC San Diego Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences. One of its researcher Kam Arnold, manufactured super-sensitive apparatuses known as bolometers.
A, is by Arnold described bolometer, which looks at the path of the light from different parts of the sky in these words:
“A bolometer is a map of all these little directions that the light’s electric field is pointing. The new instrument enables scientists to view this light at an extremely high resolution, approximately three arc minutes, which amounts to one-tenth the size of the full Moon.”
Such high resolution mapping similarly lets researchers to observe B modes, which take place in patterns of polarization. The existence of B modes is an indication which suggests that the microwave light has been warped.
Although the reason of such warping is undistinguishable, still several researchers associate it to either dark matter or neutrinos.
Arnold further told that:
“Galactic dust also releases this type of polar radiation. It can hamper endeavors to measure cosmic microwave background radiation. Nevertheless in this situation, we are confident that the three areas they studied are mostly dust-free and these B modes are cosmological rather than galactic in origin”.
He thinks that this newest and most precise measurement of cosmic microwave polarization is an significant breakthrough in understanding of the early universe. The investigators plan to follow up by escalating the map of cosmic microwave polarization, by means of the Simon Array telescopes.