ABSTRACT: The Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) is designed to measure polarization in the cosmic microwave background, targeting the imprint of inflationary gravitational waves at large angular scales(~1°). Between 2008 October and 2010 December, two independent receiver arrays were deployed sequentially on a 1.4 m side-fed Dragonian telescope. The polarimeters that form the focal planes use a compact design based on high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) that provides simultaneous measurements of the Stokes parameters Q, U, and I in a single module. The 17-element Q-band polarimeter array, with a central frequency of 43.1 GHz, has the best sensitivity (69 μKs1/2) and the lowest instrumental systematic errors ever achieved in this band, contributing to the tensor-to-scalar ratio at r < 0.1. The 84-element W-band polarimeter array has a sensitivity of 87 μKs1/2 at a central frequency of 94.5 GHz. It has the lowest systematic errors to date, contributing at r < 0.01. The two arrays together cover multipoles in the range ℓ ~ 25-975. These are the largest HEMT-based arrays deployed to date. This article describes the design, calibration, performance, and sources of systematic error of the instrument.
The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 768(1):9. · 6.02 Impact Factor
apj. 01/2013; 762:10.
ABSTRACT: We present the final nine-year maps and basic results from the WMAP mission.
We provide new nine-year full sky temperature maps that were processed to
reduce the asymmetry of the effective beams. Temperature and polarization sky
maps are examined to separate CMB anisotropy from foreground emission, and both
types of signals are analyzed in detail. The WMAP mission has resulted in a
highly constrained LCDM cosmological model with precise and accurate parameters
in agreement with a host of other cosmological measurements. When WMAP data are
combined with finer scale CMB, baryon acoustic oscillation, and Hubble constant
measurements, we find that Big Bang nucleosynthesis is well supported and there
is no compelling evidence for a non-standard number of neutrino species
(3.84+/-0.40). The model fit also implies that the age of the universe is
13.772+/-0.059 Gyr, and the fit Hubble constant is H0 = 69.32+/-0.80 km/s/Mpc.
Inflation is also supported: the fluctuations are adiabatic, with Gaussian
random phases; the detection of a deviation of the scalar spectral index from
unity reported earlier by WMAP now has high statistical significance (n_s =
0.9608+/-0.0080); and the universe is close to flat/Euclidean, Omega_k =
-0.0027 (+0.0039/-0.0038). Overall, the WMAP mission has resulted in a
reduction of the cosmological parameter volume by a factor of 68,000 for the
standard six-parameter LCDM model, based on CMB data alone. For a model
including tensors, the allowed seven-parameter volume has been reduced by a
factor 117,000. Other cosmological observations are in accord with the CMB
predictions, and the combined data reduces the cosmological parameter volume
even further. With no significant anomalies and an adequate goodness-of-fit,
the inflationary flat LCDM model and its precise and accurate parameters rooted
in WMAP data stands as the standard model of cosmology.
ABSTRACT: We present cosmological parameter constraints based on the final nine-year
WMAP data, in conjunction with additional cosmological data sets. The WMAP data
alone, and in combination, continue to be remarkably well fit by a
six-parameter LCDM model. When WMAP data are combined with measurements of the
high-l CMB anisotropy, the BAO scale, and the Hubble constant, the densities,
Omegabh2, Omegach2, and Omega_L, are each determined to a precision of ~1.5%.
The amplitude of the primordial spectrum is measured to within 3%, and there is
now evidence for a tilt in the primordial spectrum at the 5sigma level,
confirming the first detection of tilt based on the five-year WMAP data. At the
end of the WMAP mission, the nine-year data decrease the allowable volume of
the six-dimensional LCDM parameter space by a factor of 68,000 relative to
pre-WMAP measurements. We investigate a number of data combinations and show
that their LCDM parameter fits are consistent. New limits on deviations from
the six-parameter model are presented, for example: the fractional contribution
of tensor modes is limited to r<0.13 (95% CL); the spatial curvature parameter
is limited to -0.0027 (+0.0039/-0.0038); the summed mass of neutrinos is <0.44
eV (95% CL); and the number of relativistic species is found to be 3.84+/-0.40
when the full data are analyzed. The joint constraint on Neff and the
primordial helium abundance agrees with the prediction of standard Big Bang
nucleosynthesis. We compare recent PLANCK measurements of the
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect with our seven-year measurements, and show their
mutual agreement. Our analysis of the polarization pattern around temperature
extrema is updated. This confirms a fundamental prediction of the standard
cosmological model and provides a striking illustration of acoustic
oscillations and adiabatic initial conditions in the early universe.
ABSTRACT: The Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) is designed to measure polarization in the
Cosmic Microwave Background, targeting the imprint of inflationary
gravitational waves at large angular scales (~ 1 degree). Between 2008 October
and 2010 December, two independent receiver arrays were deployed sequentially
on a 1.4 m side-fed Dragonian telescope. The polarimeters which form the focal
planes use a highly compact design based on High Electron Mobility Transistors
(HEMTs) that provides simultaneous measurements of the Stokes parameters Q, U,
and I in a single module. The 17-element Q-band polarimeter array, with a
central frequency of 43.1 GHz, has the best sensitivity (69 uK sqrt(s)) and the
lowest instrumental systematic errors ever achieved in this band, contributing
to the tensor-to-scalar ratio at r < 0.1. The 84-element W-band polarimeter
array has a sensitivity of 87 uK sqrt(s) at a central frequency of 94.5 GHz. It
has the lowest systematic errors to date, contributing at r < 0.01. The two
arrays together cover multipoles in the range l= 25-975. These are the largest
HEMT-based arrays deployed to date. This article describes the design,
calibration, performance of, and sources of systematic error for the
ABSTRACT: The Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) has observed the cosmic microwave
background (CMB) at 43 and 95GHz. The 43-GHz results have been published in
QUIET Collaboration et al. (2011), and here we report the measurement of CMB
polarization power spectra using the 95-GHz data. This data set comprises 5337
hours of observations recorded by an array of 84 polarized coherent receivers
with a total array sensitivity of 87 uK sqrt(s). Four low-foreground fields
were observed, covering a total of ~1000 square degrees with an effective
angular resolution of 12.8', allowing for constraints on primordial
gravitational waves and high-signal-to-noise measurements of the E-modes across
three acoustic peaks. The data reduction was performed using two independent
analysis pipelines, one based on a pseudo-Cl (PCL) cross-correlation approach,
and the other on a maximum-likelihood (ML) approach. All data selection
criteria and filters were modified until a predefined set of null tests had
been satisfied before inspecting any non-null power spectrum. The results
derived by the two pipelines are in good agreement. We characterize the EE, EB
and BB power spectra between l=25 and 975 and find that the EE spectrum is
consistent with LCDM, while the BB power spectrum is consistent with zero.
Based on these measurements, we constrain the tensor-to-scalar ratio to
r=1.1+0.9-0.8 (r<2.8 at 95% C.L.) as derived by the ML pipeline, and
r=1.2+0.9-0.8 (r<2.7 at 95% C.L.) as derived by the PCL pipeline. In one of the
fields, we find a correlation with the dust component of the Planck Sky Model,
though the corresponding excess power is small compared to statistical errors.
Finally, we derive limits on all known systematic errors, and demonstrate that
these correspond to a tensor-to-scalar ratio smaller than r=0.01, the lowest
level yet reported in the literature.
ABSTRACT: We discuss the mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic properties of a castable microwave absorber consisting of a mixture
of stainless steel powder suspended in a commercially available epoxy. The resulting mixture is well suited for cryogenic
applications. Its coefficient of thermal expansion closely matches most metals to reduce mechanical strain during cool down.
The absorption can be tuned by varying the volume filling fraction of the stainless steel powder in the mixture and exhibits
little change from room temperature to 4K. We provide simple expressions for the real and imaginary parts of the dielectric
permittivity as a function of frequency and the stainless steel filling fraction.
International Journal of Infrared and Millimeter Waves 04/2012; 29(1):51-61. · 0.58 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) employs coherent receivers at 43 GHz and 94 GHz, operating on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in Chile, to measure the anisotropy in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). QUIET primarily targets the B modes from primordial gravitational waves. The combination of these frequencies gives sensitivity to foreground contributions from diffuse Galactic synchrotron radiation. Between 2008 October and 2010 December, over 10,000 hr of data were collected, first with the 19 element 43 GHz array (3458 hr) and then with the 90 element 94 GHz array. Each array observes the same four fields, selected for low foregrounds, together covering 1000 deg2. This paper reports initial results from the 43 GHz receiver, which has an array sensitivity to CMB fluctuations of 69 μK. The data were extensively studied with a large suite of null tests before the power spectra, determined with two independent pipelines, were examined. Analysis choices, including data selection, were modified until the null tests passed. Cross-correlating maps with different telescope pointings is used to eliminate a bias. This paper reports the EE, BB, and EB power spectra in the multipole range = 25-475. With the exception of the lowest multipole bin for one of the fields, where a polarized foreground, consistent with Galactic synchrotron radiation, is detected with 3σ significance, the E-mode spectrum is consistent with the ΛCDM model, confirming the only previous detection of the first acoustic peak. The B-mode spectrum is consistent with zero, leading to a measurement of the tensor-to-scalar ratio of r = 0.35+1.06 –0.87. The combination of a new time-stream "double-demodulation" technique, side-fed Dragonian optics, natural sky rotation, and frequent boresight rotation leads to the lowest level of systematic contamination in the B-mode power so far reported, below the level of r = 0.1.
The Astrophysical Journal 10/2011; 741(2):111. · 6.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Atacama Cosmology Telescope was designed to measure small-scale anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background and detect galaxy clusters through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The instrument is located on Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 5190 m. A 6 m off-axis Gregorian telescope feeds a new type of cryogenic receiver, the Millimeter Bolometer Array Camera. The receiver features three 1000-element arrays of transition-edge sensor bolometers for observations at 148 GHz, 218 GHz, and 277 GHz. Each detector array is fed by free space millimeter-wave optics. Each frequency band has a field of view of approximately 22' × 26'. The telescope was commissioned in 2007 and has completed its third year of operations. We discuss the major components of the telescope, camera, and related systems, and summarize the instrument performance.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 05/2011; 194(2):41. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The ARCADE 2 instrument has measured the absolute temperature of the sky at frequencies 3, 8, 10, 30, and 90 GHz, using an open-aperture cryogenic instrument observing at balloon altitudes with no emissive windows between the beam-forming optics and the sky. An external blackbody calibrator provides an in situ reference. Systematic errors were greatly reduced by using differential radiometers and cooling all critical components to physical temperatures approximating the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature. A linear model is used to compare the output of each radiometer to a set of thermometers on the instrument. Small corrections are made for the residual emission from the flight train, balloon, atmosphere, and foreground Galactic emission. The ARCADE 2 data alone show an excess radio rise of 54 ± 6 mK at 3.3 GHz in addition to a CMB temperature of 2.731 ± 0.004 K. Combining the ARCADE 2 data with data from the literature shows an excess power-law spectrum of T = 24.1 ± 2.1 (K) (ν/ν0)–2.599 ± 0.036 from 22 MHz to 10 GHz (ν0 = 310 MHz) in addition to a CMB temperature of 2.725 ± 0.001 K.
The Astrophysical Journal 05/2011; 734(1):5. · 6.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We use absolutely calibrated data between 3 and 90 GHz from the 2006 balloon flight of the ARCADE 2 instrument, along with previous measurements at other frequencies, to constrain models of extragalactic emission. Such emission is a combination of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) monopole, Galactic foreground emission, the integrated contribution of radio emission from external galaxies, any spectral distortions present in the CMB, and any other extragalactic source. After removal of estimates of foreground emission from our own Galaxy, and an estimated contribution of external galaxies, we present fits to a combination of the flat-spectrum CMB and potential spectral distortions in the CMB. We find 2σ upper limits to CMB spectral distortions of μ < 6 × 10–4 and |Y ff| < 1 × 10–4. We also find a significant detection of a residual signal beyond that, which can be explained by the CMB plus the integrated radio emission from galaxies estimated from existing surveys. This residual signal may be due to an underestimated galactic foreground contribution, an unaccounted for contribution of a background of radio sources, or some combination of both. The residual signal is consistent with emission in the form of a power law with amplitude 18.4 ± 2.1 K at 0.31 GHz and a spectral index of –2.57 ± 0.05.
The Astrophysical Journal 05/2011; 734(1):6. · 6.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We use absolutely calibrated data from the ARCADE 2 flight in 2006 July to model Galactic emission at frequencies 3, 8, and 10 GHz. The spatial structure in the data is consistent with a superposition of free-free and synchrotron emission. Emission with spatial morphology traced by the Haslam 408 MHz survey has spectral index βsynch = –2.5 ± 0.1, with free-free emission contributing 0.10 ± 0.01 of the total Galactic plane emission in the lowest ARCADE 2 band at 3.15 GHz. We estimate the total Galactic emission toward the polar caps using either a simple plane-parallel model with csc |b| dependence or a model of high-latitude radio emission traced by the COBE/FIRAS map of C II emission. Both methods are consistent with a single power law over the frequency range 22 MHz to 10 GHz, with total Galactic emission toward the north polar cap T Gal = 10.12 ± 0.90 K and spectral index β = –2.55 ± 0.03 at reference frequency 0.31 GHz. Emission associated with the plane-parallel structure accounts for only 30% of the observed high-latitude sky temperature, with the residual in either a Galactic halo or an isotropic extragalactic background. The well-calibrated ARCADE 2 maps provide a new test for spinning dust emission, based on the integrated intensity of emission from the Galactic plane instead of cross-correlations with the thermal dust spatial morphology. The Galactic plane intensity measured by ARCADE 2 is fainter than predicted by models without spinning dust and is consistent with spinning dust contributing 0.4 ± 0.1 of the Galactic plane emission at 23 GHz.
The Astrophysical Journal 05/2011; 734(1):4. · 6.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The second generation Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission (ARCADE 2) instrument is a balloon-borne experiment to measure the radiometric temperature of the cosmic microwave background and Galactic and extragalactic emission at six frequencies from 3 to 90 GHz. ARCADE 2 utilizes a double-nulled design where emission from the sky is compared to that from an external cryogenic full-aperture blackbody calibrator by cryogenic switching radiometers containing internal blackbody reference loads. In order to further minimize sources of systematic error, ARCADE 2 features a cold fully open aperture with all radiometrically active components maintained at near 2.7 K without windows or other warm objects, achieved through a novel thermal design. We discuss the design and performance of the ARCADE 2 instrument in its 2005 and 2006 flights.
The Astrophysical Journal 03/2011; 730(2):138. · 6.02 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The combination of seven-year data from WMAP and improved astrophysical data rigorously tests the standard cosmological model and places new constraints on its basic parameters and extensions. By combining the WMAP data with the latest distance measurements from the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) in the distribution of galaxies and the Hubble constant (H 0) measurement, we determine the parameters of the simplest six-parameter ΛCDM model. The power-law index of the primordial power spectrum is ns = 0.968 ± 0.012 (68% CL) for this data combination, a measurement that excludes the Harrison-Zel'dovich-Peebles spectrum by 99.5% CL. The other parameters, including those beyond the minimal set, are also consistent with, and improved from, the five-year results. We find no convincing deviations from the minimal model. The seven-year temperature power spectrum gives a better determination of the third acoustic peak, which results in a better determination of the redshift of the matter-radiation equality epoch. Notable examples of improved parameters are the total mass of neutrinos, ∑m ν < 0.58 eV(95%CL), and the effective number of neutrino species, N eff = 4.34+0.86 –0.88 (68% CL), which benefit from better determinations of the third peak and H 0. The limit on a constant dark energy equation of state parameter from WMAP+BAO+H 0, without high-redshift Type Ia supernovae, is w = –1.10 ± 0.14 (68% CL). We detect the effect of primordial helium on the temperature power spectrum and provide a new test of big bang nucleosynthesis by measuring Yp = 0.326 ± 0.075 (68% CL). We detect, and show on the map for the first time, the tangential and radial polarization patterns around hot and cold spots of temperature fluctuations, an important test of physical processes at z = 1090 and the dominance of adiabatic scalar fluctuations. The seven-year polarization data have significantly improved: we now detect the temperature-E-mode polarization cross power spectrum at 21σ, compared with 13σ from the five-year data. With the seven-year temperature-B-mode cross power spectrum, the limit on a rotation of the polarization plane due to potential parity-violating effects has improved by 38% to (68% CL). We report significant detections of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect at the locations of known clusters of galaxies. The measured SZ signal agrees well with the expected signal from the X-ray data on a cluster-by-cluster basis. However, it is a factor of 0.5-0.7 times the predictions from "universal profile" of Arnaud et al., analytical models, and hydrodynamical simulations. We find, for the first time in the SZ effect, a significant difference between the cooling-flow and non-cooling-flow clusters (or relaxed and non-relaxed clusters), which can explain some of the discrepancy. This lower amplitude is consistent with the lower-than-theoretically expected SZ power spectrum recently measured by the South Pole Telescope Collaboration.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 01/2011; 192(2):18. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The WMAP mission has produced sky maps from seven years of observations at L2. We present the angular power spectra derived from the seven-year maps and discuss the cosmological conclusions that can be inferred from WMAP data alone. With the seven-year data, the temperature (TT) spectrum measurement has a signal-to-noise ratio per multipole that exceeds unity for l < 919; and in band powers of width Δl = 10, the signal-to-noise ratio exceeds unity up to l = 1060. The third acoustic peak in the TT spectrum is now well measured by WMAP. In the context of a flat ΛCDM model, this improvement allows us to place tighter constraints on the matter density from WMAP data alone, Ω m h 2 = 0.1334+0.0056 –0.0055, and on the epoch of matter-radiation equality, z eq = 3196+134 –133. The temperature-polarization (TE) spectrum is detected in the seven-year data with a significance of 20σ, compared to 13σ with the five-year data. We now detect the second dip in the TE spectrum near l ~ 450 with high confidence. The TB and EB spectra remain consistent with zero, thus demonstrating low systematic errors and foreground residuals in the data. The low-l EE spectrum, a measure of the optical depth due to reionization, is detected at 5.5σ significance when averaged over l = 2-7: l(l + 1)C EE l /(2π) = 0.074+0.034 –0.025 μK2 (68% CL). We now detect the high-l, 24 ≤ l ≤ 800, EE spectrum at over 8σ. The BB spectrum, an important probe of gravitational waves from inflation, remains consistent with zero; when averaged over l = 2-7, l(l + 1)C BB l /(2π) < 0.055 μK2 (95% CL). The upper limit on tensor modes from polarization data alone is a factor of two lower with the seven-year data than it was using the five-year data. The data remain consistent with the simple ΛCDM model: the best-fit TT spectrum has an effective χ2 of 1227 for 1170 degrees of freedom, with a probability to exceed of 9.6%. The allowable volume in the six-dimensional space of ΛCDM parameters has been reduced by a factor of 1.5 relative to the five-year volume, while the ΛCDM model that allows for tensor modes and a running scalar spectral index has a factor of three lower volume when fit to the seven-year data. We test the parameter recovery process for bias and find that the scalar spectral index, ns , is biased high, but only by 0.09σ, while the remaining parameters are biased by <0.15σ. The improvement in the third peak measurement leads to tighter lower limits from WMAP on the number of relativistic degrees of freedom (e.g., neutrinos) in the early universe: N eff>2.7(95%CL). Also, using WMAP data alone, the primordial helium mass fraction is found to be Y He = 0.28+0.14 –0.15, and with data from higher-resolution cosmic microwave background experiments included, we now establish the existence of pre-stellar helium at >3σ. These new WMAP measurements provide important tests of big bang cosmology.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 01/2011; 192(2):16. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We present updated estimates of Galactic foreground emission using seven years of WMAP data. Using the power spectrum of differences between multi-frequency template-cleaned maps, we find no evidence for foreground contamination outside of the updated (KQ85y7) foreground mask. We place a 15 μK upper bound on rms foreground contamination in the cleaned maps used for cosmological analysis. Further, the cleaning process requires only three power-law foregrounds outside of the mask. We find no evidence for polarized foregrounds beyond those from soft (steep-spectrum) synchrotron and thermal dust emission; in particular we find no indication in the polarization data of an extra "haze" of hard synchrotron emission from energetic electrons near the Galactic center. We provide an updated map of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using the internal linear combination method, updated foreground masks, and updates to point source catalogs using two different techniques. With additional years of data, we now detect 471 point sources using a five-band technique and 417 sources using a three-band CMB-free technique. In total there are 62 newly detected point sources, a 12% increase over the five-year release. Also new are tests of the Markov chain Monte Carlo foreground fitting procedure against systematics in the time-stream data, and tests against the observed beam asymmetry. Within a few degrees of the Galactic plane, the behavior in total intensity of low-frequency foregrounds is complicated and not completely understood. WMAP data show a rapidly steepening spectrum from 20 to 40 GHz, which may be due to emission from spinning dust grains, steepening synchrotron, or other effects. Comparisons are made to a 1 deg 408 MHz map (Haslam et al.) and the 11 deg ARCADE 2 data (Singal et al.). We find that spinning dust or steepening synchrotron models fit the combination of WMAP and 408 MHz data equally well. ARCADE data appear inconsistent with the steepening synchrotron model and consistent with the spinning dust model, though some discrepancies remain regarding the relative strength of spinning dust emission. More high-resolution data in the 10-40 GHz range would shed much light on these issues.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 01/2011; 192(2):15. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: We present WMAP seven-year observations of bright sources which are often used as calibrators at microwave frequencies. Ten objects are studied in five frequency bands (23-94 GHz): the outer planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and five fixed celestial sources (Cas A, Tau A, Cyg A, 3C274, and 3C58). The seven-year analysis of Jupiter provides temperatures which are within 1σ of the previously published WMAP five-year values, with slightly tighter constraints on variability with orbital phase (0.2% ± 0.4%), and limits (but no detections) on linear polarization. Observed temperatures for both Mars and Saturn vary significantly with viewing geometry. Scaling factors are provided which, when multiplied by the Wright Mars thermal model predictions at 350 μm, reproduce WMAP seasonally averaged observations of Mars within ~2%. An empirical model is described which fits brightness variations of Saturn due to geometrical effects and can be used to predict the WMAP observations to within 3%. Seven-year mean temperatures for Uranus and Neptune are also tabulated. Uncertainties in Uranus temperatures are 3%-4% in the 41, 61, and 94 GHz bands; the smallest uncertainty for Neptune is 8% for the 94 GHz band. Intriguingly, the spectrum of Uranus appears to show a dip at ~30 GHz of unidentified origin, although the feature is not of high statistical significance. Flux densities for the five selected fixed celestial sources are derived from the seven-year WMAP sky maps and are tabulated for Stokes I, Q, and U, along with polarization fraction and position angle. Fractional uncertainties for the Stokes I fluxes are typically 1% to 3%. Source variability over the seven-year baseline is also estimated. Significant secular decrease is seen for Cas A and Tau A: our results are consistent with a frequency-independent decrease of about 0.53% per year for Cas A and 0.22% per year for Tau A. We present WMAP polarization data with uncertainties of a few percent for Tau A. Where appropriate, WMAP results are compared against previous findings in the literature. With an absolute calibration uncertainty of 0.2%, WMAP data are a valuable asset for calibration work.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 01/2011; 192(2):19. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: New full-sky temperature and polarization maps based on seven years of data from WMAP are presented. The new results are consistent with previous results, but have improved due to reduced noise from the additional integration time, improved knowledge of the instrument performance, and improved data analysis procedures. The improvements are described in detail. The seven-year data set is well fit by a minimal six-parameter flat ΛCDM model. The parameters for this model, using the WMAP data in conjunction with baryon acoustic oscillation data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and priors on H 0 from Hubble Space Telescope observations, are Ω b h 2 = 0.02260 ± 0.00053, Ω c h 2 = 0.1123 ± 0.0035, ΩΛ = 0.728+0.015 –0.016, ns = 0.963 ± 0.012, τ = 0.087 ± 0.014, and σ8 = 0.809 ± 0.024 (68% CL uncertainties). The temperature power spectrum signal-to-noise ratio per multipole is greater that unity for multipoles ℓ 919, allowing a robust measurement of the third acoustic peak. This measurement results in improved constraints on the matter density, Ω m h 2 = 0.1334+0.0056 –0.0055, and the epoch of matter-radiation equality, z eq = 3196+134 –133, using WMAP data alone. The new WMAP data, when combined with smaller angular scale microwave background anisotropy data, result in a 3σ detection of the abundance of primordial helium, Y He = 0.326 ± 0.075. When combined with additional external data sets, the WMAP data also yield better determinations of the total mass of neutrinos, ∑m ν ≤ 0.58 eV(95%CL), and the effective number of neutrino species, N eff = 4.34+0.86 –0.88. The power-law index of the primordial power spectrum is now determined to be ns = 0.963 ± 0.012, excluding the Harrison-Zel'dovich-Peebles spectrum by >3σ. These new WMAP measurements provide important tests of big bang cosmology.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 01/2011; 192(2):14. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: A simple six-parameter ΛCDM model provides a successful fit to WMAP data. This holds both when the WMAP data are analyzed alone or in combination with other cosmological data. Even so, it is appropriate to examine the data carefully to search for hints of deviations from the now standard model of cosmology, which includes inflation, dark energy, dark matter, baryons, and neutrinos. The cosmological community has subjected the WMAP data to extensive and varied analyses. While there is widespread agreement as to the overall success of the six-parameter ΛCDM model, various "anomalies" have been reported relative to that model. In this paper we examine potential anomalies and present analyses and assessments of their significance. In most cases we find that claimed anomalies depend on posterior selection of some aspect or subset of the data. Compared with sky simulations based on the best-fit model, one can select for low probability features of the WMAP data. Low probability features are expected, but it is not usually straightforward to determine whether any particular low probability feature is the result of the a posteriori selection or non-standard cosmology. Hypothesis testing could, of course, always reveal an alternative model that is statistically favored, but there is currently no model that is more compelling. We find that two cold spots in the map are statistically consistent with random cosmic microwave background (CMB) fluctuations. We also find that the amplitude of the quadrupole is well within the expected 95% confidence range and therefore is not anomalously low. We find no significant anomaly with a lack of large angular scale CMB power for the best-fit ΛCDM model. We examine in detail the properties of the power spectrum data with respect to the ΛCDM model and find no significant anomalies. The quadrupole and octupole components of the CMB sky are remarkably aligned, but we find that this is not due to any single map feature; it results from the statistical combination of the full-sky anisotropy fluctuations. It may be due, in part, to chance alignments between the primary and secondary anisotropy, but this only shifts the coincidence from within the last scattering surface to between it and the local matter density distribution. While this alignment appears to be remarkable, there was no model that predicted it, nor has there been a model that provides a compelling retrodiction. We examine claims of a hemispherical or dipole power asymmetry across the sky and find that the evidence for these claims is not statistically significant. We confirm the claim of a strong quadrupolar power asymmetry effect, but there is considerable evidence that the effect is not cosmological. The likely explanation is an insufficient handling of beam asymmetries. We conclude that there is no compelling evidence for deviations from the ΛCDM model, which is generally an acceptable statistical fit to WMAP and other cosmological data.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 01/2011; 192(2):17. · 13.46 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) employs coherent receivers at 43GHz and
95GHz, operating on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in Chile, to
measure the anisotropy in the polarization of the CMB. QUIET primarily targets
the B modes from primordial gravitational waves. The combination of these
frequencies gives sensitivity to foreground contributions from diffuse Galactic
synchrotron radiation. Between 2008 October and 2010 December, >10,000hours of
data were collected, first with the 19-element 43GHz array (3458hours) and then
with the 90-element 95GHz array. Each array observes the same four fields,
selected for low foregrounds, together covering ~1000deg^2. This paper reports
initial results from the 43GHz receiver which has an array sensitivity to CMB
fluctuations of 69uK sqrt(s). The data were extensively studied with a large
suite of null tests before the power spectra, determined with two independent
pipelines, were examined. Analysis choices, including data selection, were
modified until the null tests passed. Cross correlating maps with different
telescope pointings is used to eliminate a bias. This paper reports the EE, BB
and EB power spectra in the multipole range ell=25-475. With the exception of
the lowest multipole bin for one of the fields, where a polarized foreground,
consistent with Galactic synchrotron radiation, is detected with 3sigma
significance, the E-mode spectrum is consistent with the LCDM model, confirming
the only previous detection of the first acoustic peak. The B-mode spectrum is
consistent with zero, leading to a measurement of the tensor-to-scalar ratio of
r=0.35+1.06-0.87. The combination of a new time-stream double-demodulation
technique, Mizuguchi-Dragone optics, natural sky rotation, and frequent
boresight rotation leads to the lowest level of systematic contamination in the
B-mode power so far reported, below the level of r=0.1