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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We present estimates of line-of-sight distortion fields derived from the 95 and 150 GHz data taken by BICEP2, BICEP3, and the Keck Array up to the 2018 observing season, leading to cosmological constraints and a study of instrumental and astrophysical systematics. Cosmological constraints are derived from three of the distortion fields concerning gravitational lensing from large-scale structure, polarization rotation from magnetic fields or an axion-like field, and the screening effect of patchy reionization. We measure an amplitude of the lensing power spectrumALϕϕ=0.95±0.20. We constrain polarization rotation, expressed as the coupling constant of a Chern–Simons electromagnetic termgaγ≤ 2.6 × 10−2/HI, whereHIis the inflationary Hubble parameter, and an amplitude of primordial magnetic fields smoothed over 1 MpcB1Mpc≤ 6.6 nG at 95 GHz. We constrain the rms of optical depth fluctuations in a simple “crinkly surface” model of patchy reionization, findingAτ< 0.19 (2σ) for the coherence scale ofLc= 100. We show that all of the distortion fields of the 95 and 150 GHz polarization maps are consistent with simulations including lensed ΛCDM, dust, and noise, with no evidence for instrumental systematics. In some cases, theEBandTBquadratic estimators presented here are more sensitive than our previous map-based null tests at identifying and rejecting spuriousB-modes that might arise from instrumental effects. Finally, we verify that the standard deprojection filtering in the BICEP/Keck data processing is effective at removing temperature to polarization leakage.

     
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  3. Abstract

    We characterize Galactic dust filaments by correlating BICEP/Keck and Planck data with polarization templates based on neutral hydrogen (Hi) observations. Dust polarization is important for both our understanding of astrophysical processes in the interstellar medium (ISM) and the search for primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In the diffuse ISM, Hiis strongly correlated with the dust and partly organized into filaments that are aligned with the local magnetic field. We analyze the deep BICEP/Keck data at 95, 150, and 220 GHz, over the low-column-density region of sky where BICEP/Keck has set the best limits on primordial gravitational waves. We separate the Hiemission into distinct velocity components and detect dust polarization correlated with the local Galactic Hibut not with the Hiassociated with Magellanic Streami. We present a robust, multifrequency detection of polarized dust emission correlated with the filamentary Himorphology template down to 95 GHz. For assessing its utility for foreground cleaning, we report that the Himorphology template correlates inBmodes at a ∼10%–65% level over the multipole range 20 << 200 with the BICEP/Keck maps, which contain contributions from dust, CMB, and noise components. We measure the spectral index of the filamentary dust component spectral energy distribution to beβ= 1.54 ± 0.13. We find no evidence for decorrelation in this region between the filaments and the rest of the dust field or from the inclusion of dust associated with the intermediate velocity Hi. Finally, we explore the morphological parameter space in the Hi-based filamentary model.

     
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  4. The BICEP/Keck Collaboration is currently leading the quest to the highest sensitivity measurements of the polarized CMB anisotropies on degree scale with a series of cryogenic telescopes, of which BICEP Array is the latest Stage-3 upgrade with a total of ∼32,000 detectors. The instrument comprises 4 receivers spanning 30 to 270 GHz, with the low-frequency 30/40 GHz deployed to the South Pole Station in late 2019. The full complement of receivers is forecast to set the most stringent constraints on the tensor to scalar ratio r. Building on these advances, the overarching small-aperture telescope concept is already being used as the reference for further Stage-4 experiment design. In this paper I will present the development of the BICEP Array 150 GHz detector module and its fabrication requirements, with highlights on the high-density time division multiplexing (TDM) design of the cryogenic circuit boards. The low-impedance wiring required between the detectors and the first-stage SQUID amplifiers is crucial to maintain a stiff voltage bias on the detectors. A novel multi-layer FR4 Printed Circuit Board (PCB) with superconducting traces, capable of reading out up to 648 detectors, is presented along with its validation tests. I will also describe an ultra-high density TDM detector module we developed for a CMB-S4-like experiment that allows up to 1,920 detectors to be read out. TDM has been chosen as the detector readout technology for the Cosmic Microwave Background Stage-4 (CMB-S4) experiment based on its proven low-noise performance, predictable costs and overall maturity of the architecture. The heritage for TDM is rooted in mm- and submm-wave experiments dating back 20 years and has since evolved to support a multiplexing factor of 64x in Stage-3 experiments. 
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  5. For the past decade, the BICEP/Keck collaboration has been operating a series of telescopes at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station measuring degree-scale B-mode polarization imprinted in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) by primordial gravitational waves (PGWs). These telescopes are compact refracting polarimeters mapping about 2% of the sky, observing at a broad range of frequencies to account for the polarized foreground from Galactic synchrotron and thermal dust emission. Our latest publication "BK18" utilizes the data collected up to the 2018 observing season, in conjunction with the publicly available WMAP and Planck data, to constrain the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. It particularly includes (1) the 3-year BICEP3 data which is the current deepest CMB polarization map at the foreground-minimum 95 GHz; and (2) the Keck 220 GHz map with a higher signal-to-noise ratio on the dust foreground than the Planck 353 GHz map. We fit the auto- and cross-spectra of these maps to a multicomponent likelihood model (ΛCDM+dust+synchrotron+noise+r) and find it to be an adequate description of the data at the current noise level. The likelihood analysis yields σ(r)=0.009. The inference of r from our baseline model is tightened to r0.05=0.014+0.010−0.011 and r0.05<0.036 at 95% confidence, meaning that the BICEP/Keck B-mode data is the most powerful existing dataset for the constraint of PGWs. The up-coming BICEP Array telescope is projected to reach σ(r)≲0.003 using data up to 2027. 
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  6. Abstract

    Modern cosmic microwave background (CMB) analysis pipelines regularly employ complex time-domain filters, beam models, masking, and other techniques during the production of sky maps and their corresponding angular power spectra. However, these processes can generate couplings between multipoles from the same spectrum and from different spectra, in addition to the typical power attenuation. Within the context of pseudo-Cbased,MASTER-style analyses, the net effect of the time-domain filtering is commonly approximated by a multiplicative transfer function,F, that can fail to capture mode mixing and is dependent on the spectrum of the signal. To address these shortcomings, we have developed a simulation-based spectral correction approach that constructs a two-dimensional transfer matrix,J, which contains information about mode mixing in addition to mode attenuation. We demonstrate the application of this approach on data from the first flight of theSpiderballoon-borne CMB experiment.

     
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  7. Abstract

    We present the first linear polarization measurements from the 2015 long-duration balloon flight ofSpider, which is an experiment that is designed to map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on degree angular scales. The results from these measurements include maps and angular power spectra from observations of 4.8% of the sky at 95 and 150 GHz, along with the results of internal consistency tests on these data. While the polarized CMB anisotropy from primordial density perturbations is the dominant signal in this region of sky, Galactic dust emission is also detected with high significance. Galactic synchrotron emission is found to be negligible in theSpiderbands. We employ two independent foreground-removal techniques to explore the sensitivity of the cosmological result to the assumptions made by each. The primary method uses a dust template derived fromPlanckdata to subtract the Galactic dust signal. A second approach, which constitutes a joint analysis ofSpiderandPlanckdata in the harmonic domain, assumes a modified-blackbody model for the spectral energy distribution of the dust with no constraint on its spatial morphology. Using a likelihood that jointly samples the template amplitude andrparameter space, we derive 95% upper limits on the primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio from Feldman–Cousins and Bayesian constructions, findingr< 0.11 andr< 0.19, respectively. Roughly half the uncertainty inrderives from noise associated with the template subtraction. New data at 280 GHz fromSpider’s second flight will complement thePlanckpolarization maps, providing powerful measurements of the polarized Galactic dust emission.

     
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  8. Abstract

    We report on the design and performance of the Bicep3instrument and its first three-year data set collected from 2016 to 2018. Bicep3is a 52 cm aperture refracting telescope designed to observe the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on degree angular scales at 95 GHz. It started science observation at the South Pole in 2016 with 2400 antenna-coupled transition-edge sensor bolometers. The receiver first demonstrated new technologies such as large-diameter alumina optics, Zotefoam infrared filters, and flux-activated SQUIDs, allowing ∼10× higher optical throughput compared to theKeckdesign. Bicep3achieved instrument noise equivalent temperatures of 9.2, 6.8, and 7.1μKCMBsand reached StokesQandUmap depths of 5.9, 4.4, and 4.4μK arcmin in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. The combined three-year data set achieved a polarization map depth of 2.8μK arcmin over an effective area of 585 square degrees, which is the deepest CMB polarization map made to date at 95 GHz.

     
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