Cosmic microwave background experiments must achieve very accurate calibration of their polarization reference frame to avoid biasing the cosmological parameters. In particular, a wrong or inaccurate calibration might mimic the presence of a gravitational wave background, or a signal from cosmological birefringence, a phenomenon characteristic of several nonstandard, symmetry breaking theories of electrodynamics that allow for in vacuo rotation of the polarization direction of the photon. Noteworthly, several authors have claimed that the BOOMERanG 2003 (B2K) published polarized power spectra of the cosmic microwave background may hint at cosmological birefringence. Such analyses, however, do not take into account the reported calibration uncertainties of the BOOMERanG focal plane. We develop a formalism to include this effect and apply it to the BOOMERanG dataset, finding a cosmological rotation angle alpha=-4.3 degrees +/- 4.1 degrees. We also investigate the expected performances of future space borne experiment, finding that an overall miscalibration larger then 1 degrees for Planck and 0.2 degrees for the Experimental Probe of Inflationary Cosmology, if not properly taken into account, will produce a bias on the constraints on the cosmological parameters and could misleadingly suggest the presence of a gravitational waves background

CMB polarization systematics, cosmological birefringence, and the gravitational waves background

PAGANO L;NATOLI, Paolo;
2009

Abstract

Cosmic microwave background experiments must achieve very accurate calibration of their polarization reference frame to avoid biasing the cosmological parameters. In particular, a wrong or inaccurate calibration might mimic the presence of a gravitational wave background, or a signal from cosmological birefringence, a phenomenon characteristic of several nonstandard, symmetry breaking theories of electrodynamics that allow for in vacuo rotation of the polarization direction of the photon. Noteworthly, several authors have claimed that the BOOMERanG 2003 (B2K) published polarized power spectra of the cosmic microwave background may hint at cosmological birefringence. Such analyses, however, do not take into account the reported calibration uncertainties of the BOOMERanG focal plane. We develop a formalism to include this effect and apply it to the BOOMERanG dataset, finding a cosmological rotation angle alpha=-4.3 degrees +/- 4.1 degrees. We also investigate the expected performances of future space borne experiment, finding that an overall miscalibration larger then 1 degrees for Planck and 0.2 degrees for the Experimental Probe of Inflationary Cosmology, if not properly taken into account, will produce a bias on the constraints on the cosmological parameters and could misleadingly suggest the presence of a gravitational waves background
2009
Pagano, L; DE BERNARDIS, P; DE TROIA, G; Gubitosi, G; Masi, S; Melchiorri, A; Natoli, Paolo; Piacentini, F; Polenta, G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1560207
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