N. W. Halverson

University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, United States

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Publications (158)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the results of SPT-GMOS, a spectroscopic survey with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini South. The targets of SPT-GMOS are galaxy clusters identified in the SPT-SZ survey, a millimeter-wave survey of 2500 squ. deg. of the southern sky using the South Pole Telescope (SPT). Multi-object spectroscopic observations of 62 SPT-selected galaxy clusters were performed between January 2011 and December 2015, yielding spectra with radial velocity measurements for 2595 sources. We identify 2243 of these sources as galaxies, and 352 as stars. Of the galaxies, we identify 1579 as members of SPT-SZ galaxy clusters. The primary goal of these observations was to obtain spectra of cluster member galaxies to estimate cluster redshifts and velocity dispersions. We describe the full spectroscopic dataset and resulting data products, including galaxy redshifts, cluster redshifts and velocity dispersions, and measurements of several well-known spectral indices for each galaxy: the equivalent width, W, of [O II] 3727,3729 and H-delta, and the 4000A break strength, D4000. We use the spectral indices to classify galaxies by spectral type (i.e., passive, post-starburst, star-forming), and we match the spectra against photometric catalogs to characterize spectroscopically-observed cluster members as a function of brightness (relative to m*). Finally, we report several new measurements of redshifts for ten bright, strongly-lensed background galaxies in the cores of eight galaxy clusters. Combining the SPT-GMOS dataset with previous spectroscopic follow-up of SPT-SZ galaxy clusters results in spectroscopic measurements for >100 clusters, or ~20% of the full SPT-SZ sample.
    Article · Sep 2016
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    Y. Inoue · P. Ade · Y. Akiba · [...] · O. Zahn
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: POLARBEAR-2 (PB-2) is a cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment that will be located in the Atacama highland in Chile at an altitude of 5200 m. Its science goals are to measure the CMB polarization signals originating from both primordial gravitational waves and weak lensing. PB-2 is designed to measure the tensor to scalar ratio, r, with precision σ(r) > 0:01, and the sum of neutrino masses, Σmz, with σ(Σmv) < 90 meV. To achieve these goals, PB-2 will employ 7588 transition-edge sensor bolometers at 95 GHz and 150 GHz, which will be operated at the base temperature of 250 mK. Science observations will begin in 2017.
    Full-text available · Conference Paper · Aug 2016
  • Conference Paper · Jul 2016
  • N. Stebor · P. Ade · Y. Akiba · [...] · O. Zahn
    Conference Paper · Jul 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The third generation receiver for the South Pole Telescope, SPT-3G, will make extremely deep, arcminuteresolution maps of the temperature and polarization of the cosmic microwave background. The SPT-3G maps will enable studies of the B-mode polarization signature, constraining primordial gravitational waves as well as the effect of massive neutrinos on structure formation in the late universe. The SPT-3G receiver will achieve exceptional sensitivity through a focal plane of ~16,000 transition-edge sensor bolometers, an order of magnitude more than the current SPTpol receiver. SPT-3G uses a frequency domain multiplexing (fMux) scheme to read out the focal plane, combining the signals from 64 bolometers onto a single pair of wires. The fMux readout facilitates the large number of detectors in the SPT-3G focal plane by limiting the thermal load due to readout wiring on the 250 millikelvin cryogenic stage. A second advantage of the fMux system is that the operation of each bolometer can be optimized. In addition to these benefits, the fMux readout introduces new challenges into the design and operation of the receiver. The bolometers are operated at a range of frequencies up to 5 MHz, requiring control of stray reactances over a large bandwidth. Additionally, crosstalk between multiplexed detectors will inject large false signals into the data if not adequately mitigated. SPT-3G is scheduled to deploy to the South Pole Telescope in late 2016. Here, we present the pre-deployment performance of the fMux readout system with the SPT-3G focal plane.
    Conference Paper · Jul 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detectors for cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments are now essentially background limited, so a straightforward alternative to improve sensitivity is to increase the number of detectors. Large arrays of multichroic pixels constitute an economical approach to increasing the number of detectors within a given focal plane area. Here, we present the fabrication of large arrays of dual-polarized multichroic transition-edge-sensor (TES) bolometers for the South Pole Telescope third-generation CMB receiver (SPT-3G). The complete SPT-3G receiver will have 2690 pixels, each with six detectors, allowing for individual measurement of three spectral bands (centered at 95 GHz, 150 GHz and 220 GHz) in two orthogonal polarizations. In total, the SPT-3G focal plane will have 16140 detectors. Each pixel is comprised of a broad-band sinuous antenna coupled to a niobium microstrip transmission line. In-line filters are used to define the different band-passes before the millimeter-wavelength signal is fed to the respective Ti/Au TES sensors. Detectors are read out using a 64x frequency domain multiplexing (fMux) scheme. The microfabrication of the SPT-3G detector arrays involves a total of 18 processes, including 13 lithography steps. Together with the fabrication process, the effect of processing on the Ti/Au TES’s Tc is discussed. In addition, detectors fabricated with Ti/Au TES films with Tc between 400 mK 560 mK are presented and their thermal characteristics are evaluated. Optical characterization of the arrays is presented as well, indicating that the response of the detectors is in good agreement with the design values for all three spectral bands (95 GHz, 150 GHz, and 220 GHz). The measured optical efficiency of the detectors is between 0.3 and 0.8. Results discussed here are extracted from a batch of research of development wafers used to develop the baseline process for the fabrication of the arrays of detectors to be deployed with the SPT-3G receiver. Results from these research and development wafers have been incorporated into the fabrication process to get the baseline fabrication process presented here. SPT-3G is scheduled to deploy to the South Pole Telescope in late 2016.
    Conference Paper · Jul 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present maps of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds from combined South Pole Telescope (SPT) and Planck data. Both instruments are designed to make measurements of the cosmic microwave background but are sensitive to any source of millimeter-wave (mm-wave) emission. The Planck satellite observes in nine mm-wave bands, while the SPT data used in this work were taken with the three-band SPT-SZ camera. The SPT-SZ bands correspond closely to three of the nine Planck bands, namely those centered at 1.4, 2.1, and 3.0 mm. The angular resolution of the Planck data in these bands ranges from 5 to 10 arcmin, while the SPT resolution in these bands ranges from 1.0 to 1.7 arcmin. The combined maps take advantage of the high resolution of the SPT data and the long-timescale stability of the space-based Planck observations to deliver high signal-to-noise and robust brightness measurements on scales from the size of the maps down to ~1 arcmin. In each of the three bands, we first calibrate and color-correct the SPT data to match the Planck data, then we use noise estimates from each instrument and knowledge of each instrument's beam, or point-spread function, to make the inverse-variance-weighted combination of the two instruments' data as a function of angular scale. We create maps assuming a range of underlying emission spectra (for the color correction) and at a range of final resolutions. We perform several consistency tests on the combined maps and estimate the expected noise in measurements of features in the maps. We compare the maps of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) from this work to maps from the Herschel HERITAGE survey, finding general consistency between the datasets. The broad wavelength coverage provides evidence of different emission mechanisms at work in different environments in the LMC. [Abridged]
    Article · May 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The millimeter transient sky is largely unexplored, with measurements limited to follow-up of objects detected at other wavelengths. High-angular-resolution telescopes designed for measurement of the cosmic microwave background offer the possibility to discover new, unknown transient sources in this band, particularly the afterglows of unobserved gamma-ray bursts. Here we use the 10-meter millimeter-wave South Pole Telescope, designed for the primary purpose of observing the cosmic microwave background at arcminute and larger angular scales, to conduct a search for such objects. During the 2012-2013 season, the telescope was used to continuously observe a 100 square degree patch of sky centered at RA 23h30m and declination -55 degrees using the polarization-sensitive SPTpol camera in two bands centered at 95 and 150 GHz. These 6000 hours of observations provided continuous monitoring for day- to month-scale millimeter-wave transient sources at the 10 mJy level. One candidate object was observed with properties broadly consistent with a gamma-ray burst afterglow, but at a statistical significance too low (p=0.01) to confirm detection.
    Full-text available · Article · Apr 2016 · The Astrophysical Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: LiteBIRD is a proposed CMB polarization satellite project to probe the inflationary B-mode signal. The satellite is designed to measure the tensor-to-scalar ratio with a 68 % confidence level uncertainty of \(\sigma _\mathrm{r}<10^{-3}\), including statistical, instrumental systematic, and foreground uncertainties. LiteBIRD will observe the full sky from the second Lagrange point for 3 years. We have a focal plane layout for observing frequency coverage that spans 40–402 GHz to characterize the galactic foregrounds. We have two detector candidates, transition-edge sensor bolometers and microwave kinetic inductance detectors. In both cases, a telecentric focal plane consists of approximately \(2\times 10^3\) superconducting detectors. We will present the mission overview of LiteBIRD, the project status, and the TES focal plane layout.
    Article · Apr 2016 · Journal of Low Temperature Physics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (abridged) We present cosmological constraints obtained from galaxy clusters identified by their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect signature in the 2500 square degree South Pole Telescope Sunyaev Zel'dovich survey. We consider the 377 cluster candidates identified at z>0.25 with a detection significance greater than five, corresponding to the 95% purity threshold for the survey. We compute constraints on cosmological models using the measured cluster abundance as a function of mass and redshift. We include additional constraints from multi-wavelength observations, including Chandra X-ray data for 82 clusters and a weak lensing-based prior on the normalization of the mass-observable scaling relations. Assuming a LCDM cosmology, where the species-summed neutrino mass has the minimum allowed value (mnu = 0.06 eV) from neutrino oscillation experiments, we combine the cluster data with a prior on H0 and find sigma_8 = 0.797+-0.031 and Omega_m = 0.289+-0.042, with the parameter combination sigma_8(Omega_m/0.27)^0.3 = 0.784+-0.039. These results are in good agreement with constraints from the CMB from SPT, WMAP, and Planck, as well as with constraints from other cluster datasets. Adding mnu as a free parameter, we find mnu = 0.14+-0.08 eV when combining the SPT cluster data with Planck CMB data and BAO data, consistent with the minimum allowed value. Finally, we consider a cosmology where mnu and N_eff are fixed to the LCDM values, but the dark energy equation of state parameter w is free. Using the SPT cluster data in combination with an H0 prior, we measure w = -1.28+-0.31, a constraint consistent with the LCDM cosmological model and derived from the combination of growth of structure and geometry. When combined with primarily geometrical constraints from Planck CMB, H0, BAO and SNe, adding the SPT cluster data improves the w constraint from the geometrical data alone by 14%, to w = -1.023+-0.042.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2016
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    A. Suzuki · P. Ade · Y. Akiba · [...] · O. Zahn
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an overview of the design and status of the \Pb-2 and the Simons Array experiments. \Pb-2 is a Cosmic Microwave Background polarimetry experiment which aims to characterize the arc-minute angular scale B-mode signal from weak gravitational lensing and search for the degree angular scale B-mode signal from inflationary gravitational waves. The receiver has a 365~mm diameter focal plane cooled to 270~milli-Kelvin. The focal plane is filled with 7,588 dichroic lenslet-antenna coupled polarization sensitive Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometric pixels that are sensitive to 95~GHz and 150~GHz bands simultaneously. The TES bolometers are read-out by SQUIDs with 40 channel frequency domain multiplexing. Refractive optical elements are made with high purity alumina to achieve high optical throughput. The receiver is designed to achieve noise equivalent temperature of 5.8~$\mu$K$_{CMB}\sqrt{s}$ in each frequency band. \Pb-2 will deploy in 2016 in the Atacama desert in Chile. The Simons Array is a project to further increase sensitivity by deploying three \Pb-2 type receivers. The Simons Array will cover 95~GHz, 150~GHz and 220~GHz frequency bands for foreground control. The Simons Array will be able to constrain tensor-to-scalar ratio and sum of neutrino masses to $\sigma(r) = 6\times 10^{-3}$ at $r = 0.1$ and $\sum m_\nu (\sigma =1)$ to 40 meV.
    Full-text available · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Low Temperature Physics
  • Article · Sep 2015
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We constrain anisotropic cosmic birefringence using four-point correlations of even-parity $E$-mode and odd-parity $B$-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background measurements made by the POLARBEAR experiment in its first season of observations. We find that the anisotropic cosmic birefringence signal from any parity violating processes is consistent with zero. The Faraday rotation from anisotropic cosmic birefringence can be compared with the equivalent quantity generated by primordial magnetic fields if they existed. The POLARBEAR non-detection translates into a 95% confidence level (C.L.) upper limit of 93 nano-Gauss (nG) on the amplitude of an equivalent primordial magnetic field inclusive of systematic uncertainties. This four-point correlation constraint on Faraday rotation is about 15 times tighter than the upper limit of 1380 nG inferred from constraining the contribution of Faraday rotation to two-point correlations of $B$-modes measured by Planck in 2015. Metric perturbations sourced by primordial magnetic fields would also contribute to the $B$-mode power spectrum. Using the POLARBEAR measurements of the $B$-mode power spectrum (two-point correlation), we set a 95% C.L. upper limit of 3.9 nG on primordial magnetic fields assuming a flat prior on the field amplitude. This limit is comparable to what was found in the Planck 2015 two-point correlation analysis with both temperature and polarization. We perform a set of systematic error tests and find no evidence for contamination. This work marks the first time that anisotropic cosmic birefringence or primordial magnetic fields have been constrained from the ground at sub-degree scales.
    Full-text available · Article · Sep 2015 · Physical Review D
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work presents the procedures used at Argonne National Laboratory to fabricate large arrays of multichroic transition-edge sensor (TES) bolometers for cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements. These detectors will be assembled into the focal plane for the SPT-3G camera, the third generation CMB camera to be installed in the South Pole Telescope. The complete SPT-3G camera will have approximately 2690 pixels, for a total of 16 140 TES bolometric detectors. Each pixel is comprised of a broad-band sinuous antenna coupled to a Nb microstrip line. In-line filters are used to define the different bands before the millimeter-wavelength signal is fed to the respective Ti/Au TES bolometers. There are six TES bolometer detectors per pixel, which allow for measurements of three band-passes (95, 150 and 220 GHz) and two polarizations. The steps involved in the monolithic fabrication of these detector arrays are presented here in detail. Patterns are defined using a combination of stepper and contact lithography. The misalignment between layers is kept below 200 nm. The overall fabrication involves a total of 16 processes, including reactive and magnetron sputtering, reactive ion etching, inductively coupled plasma etching and chemical etching.
    Full-text available · Article · Sep 2015 · Superconductor Science and Technology
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    Full-text available · Article · Aug 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a measurement of the B-mode polarization power spectrum (the BB spectrum) from 100 deg(2) of sky observed with SPTpol, a polarization-sensitive receiver currently installed on the South Pole Telescope. The observations used in this work were taken during 2012 and early 2013 and include data in spectral bands centered at 95 and 150 GHz. We report the BB spectrum in five bins in multipole space, spanning the range 300 <= l <= 2300, and for three spectral combinations: 95 GHz x 95 GHz, 95 GHz x 150 GHz, and 150 GHz x 150 GHz. We subtract small (<0.5 sigma in units of statistical uncertainty) biases from these spectra and account for the uncertainty in those biases. The resulting power spectra are inconsistent with zero power but consistent with predictions for the BB spectrum arising from the gravitational lensing of E-mode polarization. If we assume no other source of BB power besides lensed B modes, we determine a preference for lensed B modes of 4.9 sigma. After marginalizing over tensor power and foregrounds, namely, polarized emission from galactic dust and extragalactic sources, this significance is 4.3 sigma. Fitting for a single parameter, A(lens), that multiplies the predicted lensed B-mode spectrum, and marginalizing over tensor power and foregrounds, we find A(lens) = 1.08 +/- 0.26, indicating that our measured spectra are consistent with the signal expected from gravitational lensing. The data presented here provide the best measurement to date of the B-mode power spectrum on these angular scales.
    Article · Jul 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atmosphere is one of the most important noise sources for ground-based Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) experiments. By increasing optical loading on the detectors, it amplifies their effective noise, while its fluctuations introduce spatial and temporal correlations between detected signals. We present a physically motivated 3d-model of the atmosphere total intensity emission in the millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths. We derive an analytical estimate for the correlation between detectors time-ordered data as a function of the instrument and survey design, as well as several atmospheric parameters such as wind, relative humidity, temperature and turbulence characteristics. Using numerical computation, we examine the effect of each physical parameter on the correlations in the time series of a given experiment. We then use a parametric-likelihood approach to validate the modeling and estimate atmosphere parameters from the POLARBEAR-I project first season data set. We compare our results to previous studies and weather station measurements, and find that the polarization fraction of atmospheric emission is below 1.0 percent. The proposed model can be used for realistic simulations of future ground-based CMB observations.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clusters of galaxies are expected to gravitationally lens the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and thereby generate a distinct signal in the CMB on arcminute scales. Measurements of this effect can be used to constrain the masses of galaxy clusters using CMB data alone. Here we present a measurement of lensing of the CMB by galaxy clusters using data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT). We develop a maximum likelihood approach to extract the CMB cluster lensing signal and validate the method on mock data. We quantify the effects of several potential sources of systematic error and find that they generally act to reduce the best-fit cluster mass. The net magnitude of the systematic shift to lower cluster mass is approximately the size of our statistical error bar, and we do not attempt to correct for it. We apply the maximum likelihood technique to 513 clusters selected via their SZ signatures in SPT data, and rule out the null hypothesis of no lensing at 3.0$\sigma$. The lensing-derived mass estimate for the full cluster sample is consistent with that inferred from the SZ flux: $M_{200,\rm{lens}} = 0.76^{+0.37}_{-0.36} M_{200,\rm{SZ}}$ (68% C.L., statistical error only).
    Full-text available · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a measurement of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) gravitational lensing potential using data from the first two seasons of observations with SPTpol, the polarization-sensitive receiver currently installed on the South Pole Telescope (SPT). The observations used in this work cover 100 deg$^2$ of sky with arcminute resolution at 150 GHz. Using a quadratic estimator, we make maps of the CMB lensing potential from combinations of CMB temperature and polarization maps. We combine these lensing potential maps to form a minimum-variance (MV) map. The lensing potential is measured with a signal-to-noise ratio of greater than one for angular multipoles between $100< L <250$. This is the highest signal-to-noise mass map made from the CMB to date and will be powerful in cross-correlation with other tracers of large-scale structure. We calculate the power spectrum of the lensing potential for each estimator, and we report the value of the MV power spectrum between $100< L <2000$ as our primary result. We constrain the ratio of the spectrum to a fiducial $\Lambda$CDM model to be $A_{\rm MV}=0.92 \pm 0.14 {\rm\, (Stat.)} \pm 0.08 {\rm\, (Sys.)}$. Restricting ourselves to polarized data only, we find $A_{\rm POL}=0.93 \pm 0.25 {\rm\, (Stat.)} \pm 0.11 {\rm\, (Sys.)}$. This measurement rejects the hypothesis of no lensing at $5.8 \sigma$ using polarization data alone, and at $14 \sigma$ using both temperature and polarization data.
    Full-text available · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present measurements of $E$-mode polarization and temperature-$E$-mode correlation in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using data from the first season of observations with SPTpol, the polarization-sensitive receiver currently installed on the South Pole Telescope (SPT). The observations used in this work cover 100~\sqdeg\ of sky with arcminute resolution at $150\,$GHz. We report the $E$-mode angular auto-power spectrum ($EE$) and the temperature-$E$-mode angular cross-power spectrum ($TE$) over the multipole range $500 < \ell \leq5000$. These power spectra improve on previous measurements in the high-$\ell$ (small-scale) regime. We fit the combination of the SPTpol power spectra, data from \planck\, and previous SPT measurements with a six-parameter \LCDM cosmological model. We find that the best-fit parameters are consistent with previous results. The improvement in high-$\ell$ sensitivity over previous measurements leads to a significant improvement in the limit on polarized point-source power: after masking sources brighter than 50\,mJy in unpolarized flux at 150\,GHz, we find a 95\% confidence upper limit on unclustered point-source power in the $EE$ spectrum of $D_\ell = \ell (\ell+1) C_\ell / 2 \pi < 0.40 \ \mu{\mbox{K}}^2$ at $\ell=3000$, indicating that future $EE$ measurements will not be limited by power from unclustered point sources in the multipole range $\ell < 3600$, and possibly much higher in $\ell.$
    Full-text available · Article · Nov 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

5k Citations


  • 2010-2014
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
      Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • 1999-2014
    • University of Chicago
      • • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
      • • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008-2012
    • University of Colorado
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 2011
    • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
      • Departamento de Anatomía
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
  • 2006-2010
    • McGill University
      • Department of Physics
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2004
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, CA, United States