We use the ACTpol published cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization data to constrain cosmological birefringence, a tracer of parity violation beyond the standard model of particle physics. To this purpose, we employ all the polarized ACTpol spectra, including the cross-correlations between temperature anisotropy and B mode polarization (TB) and between E mode and B mode (EB), which are most sensitive to the effect. We build specific, so-called D-estimators for birefringence and assess their performances and error budgets by using realistic Monte Carlo simulations based on the experimental characteristics provided by the ACTpol collaboration. We determine the optimal multipole range for our analysis to be 250<ℓ<3025 over which we find a null result for the uniform birefringence angle α=0.29°±0.28° (stat.) ±0.5° (syst.), the latter uncertainty being the estimate published by the ACTpol team on their global systematic error budget. We show that this result holds consistently when other multipole ranges are considered. Finally, we forecast the capability of several forthcoming ground based, balloon and space borne CMB experiments to constrain the birefringence angle, showing, e.g., that the proposed post-Planck COrE satellite mission could in principle constrain α at a level of 10 arcsec, provided that all systematics are under control. Under the same circumstances, we find the COrE constraints to be at least 2 or 3 times better than what could ideally be achieved by the other experiments considered.
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