N. W. Halverson

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

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Publications (147)619.35 Total impact

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    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 · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Low Temperature Physics

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    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 · Article · Sep 2015 · Physical Review D
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Superconductor Science and Technology
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    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    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 · Article · Jan 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    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 · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    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 · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    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 · Article · Nov 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: POLARBEAR-2 is a next-generation receiver for precision measurements of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)). Scheduled to deploy in early 2015, it will observe alongside the existing POLARBEAR-1 receiver, on a new telescope in the Simons Array on Cerro Toco in the Atacama desert of Chile. For increased sensitivity, it will feature a larger area focal plane, with a total of 7,588 polarization sensitive antenna-coupled Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers, with a design sensitivity of 4.1 uKrt(s). The focal plane will be cooled to 250 milliKelvin, and the bolometers will be read-out with 40x frequency domain multiplexing, with 36 optical bolometers on a single SQUID amplifier, along with 2 dark bolometers and 2 calibration resistors. To increase the multiplexing factor from 8x for POLARBEAR-1 to 40x for POLARBEAR-2 requires additional bandwidth for SQUID readout and well-defined frequency channel spacing. Extending to these higher frequencies requires new components and design for the LC filters which define channel spacing. The LC filters are cold resonant circuits with an inductor and capacitor in series with each bolometer, and stray inductance in the wiring and equivalent series resistance from the capacitors can affect bolometer operation. We present results from characterizing these new readout components. Integration of the readout system is being done first on a small scale, to ensure that the readout system does not affect bolometer sensitivity or stability, and to validate the overall system before expansion into the full receiver. We present the status of readout integration, and the initial results and status of components for the full array.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
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    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a catalog of galaxy clusters selected via their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect signature from 2500 deg$^2$ of South Pole Telescope (SPT) data. This work represents the complete sample of clusters detected at high significance in the 2500-square-degree SPT-SZ survey, which was completed in 2011. A total of 677 (409) cluster candidates are identified above a signal-to-noise threshold of $\xi$ =4.5 (5.0). Ground- and space-based optical and near-infrared (NIR) imaging confirms overdensities of similarly colored galaxies in the direction of 516 (or 76%) of the $\xi$>4.5 candidates and 387 (or 95%) of the $\xi$>5 candidates; the measured purity is consistent with expectations from simulations. Of these confirmed clusters, 415 were first identified in SPT data, including 251 new discoveries reported in this work. We estimate photometric redshifts for all candidates with identified optical and/or NIR counterparts; we additionally report redshifts derived from spectroscopic observations for 141 of these systems. The mass threshold of the catalog is roughly independent of redshift above $z$~0.25 leading to a sample of massive clusters that extends to high redshift. The median mass of the sample is $M_{\scriptsize 500c}(\rho_\mathrm{crit})$ ~ 3.5 x 10$^{14} M_\odot h^{-1}$, the median redshift is $z_{med}$ =0.55, and the highest-redshift systems are at $z$>1.4. The combination of large redshift extent, clean selection, and high typical mass makes this cluster sample of particular interest for cosmological analyses and studies of cluster formation and evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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    ABSTRACT: We present an overview of the design and development of the POLARBEAR-2 experiment. The POLARBEAR-2 experiment is a cosmic microwave background polarimetry experiment, which aims to characterize the small angular scale B-mode signal due to gravitational lensing and search for the large angular scale B-mode signal from inflationary gravitational waves. The experiment will have a 365 mm diameter multi-chroic focal plane filled with 7,588 polarization sensitive antenna-coupled Transition Edge Sensor bolometers and will observe at 95 and 150 GHz. The focal plane is cooled to 250 mK. The bolometers will be read-out by SQUIDs with frequency domain multiplexing. The experiment will utilize high purity alumina lenses and thermal filters to achieve the required high optical throughput. A continuously rotating, cooled half-wave plate will be used to give stringent control over systematic errors. The experiment is designed to achieve a noise equivalent temperature of 5.7 K, and this allows us to constrain the signal from the inflationary primordial gravitational corresponding to a tensor-to-scalar ratio of (). POLARBEAR-2 will also be able to put a constraint on the sum of neutrino masses to 90 meV () with POLARBEAR-2 data alone and 65 meV () when combined with the Planck satellite. We plan to start observations in 2014 in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Low Temperature Physics
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    ABSTRACT: The polarbear cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment has been observing since early 2012 from its 5,200 m site in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. polarbear’s measurements will characterize the expected CMB polarization due to gravitational lensing by large scale structure, and search for the possible B-mode polarization signature of inflationary gravitational waves. polarbear’s 250 mK focal plane detector array consists of 1,274 polarization-sensitive antenna-coupled bolometers, each with an associated lithographed band-defining filter and contacting dielectric lenslet, an architecture unique in current CMB experiments. The status of the polarbear instrument, its focal plane, and the analysis of its measurements are presented.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Low Temperature Physics
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    ABSTRACT: The Simons Array is an expansion of the POLARBEAR cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization experiment currently observing from the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. This expansion will create an array of three 3.5m telescopes each coupled to a multichroic bolometric receiver. The Simons Array will have the sensitivity to produce a ≥ 5σ detection of inationary gravitational waves with a tensor-to-scalar ratio r ≥ 0:01, detect the known minimum 58 meV sum of the neutrino masses with 3σ confidence when combined with a next-generation baryon acoustic oscillation measurement, and make a lensing map of large-scale structure over the 80% of the sky available from its Chilean site. These goals require high sensitivity and the ability to extract the CMB signal from contaminating astrophysical foregrounds; these requirements are met by coupling the three high-throughput telescopes to novel multichroic lenslet-coupled pixels each measuring CMB photons in both linear polarization states over multiple spectral bands. We present the status of this instrument already under construction, and an analysis of its capabilities.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: We present measurements of secondary cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies and cosmic infrared background (CIB) fluctuations using data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) covering the complete 2540 sq.deg. SPT-SZ survey area. Data in the three SPT-SZ frequency bands centered at 95, 150, and 220 GHz, are used to produce six angular power spectra (three single-frequency auto-spectra and three cross-spectra) covering the multipole range 2000 < ell < 11000 (angular scales 5' > \theta > 1'). These are the most precise measurements of the angular power spectra at ell > 2500 at these frequencies. The main contributors to the power spectra at these angular scales and frequencies are the primary CMB, CIB, thermal and kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects (tSZ and kSZ), and radio galaxies. We include a constraint on the tSZ power from a measurement of the tSZ bispectrum from 800 sq.deg. of the SPT-SZ survey. We measure the tSZ power at 143 GHz to be DtSZ = 4.08 +0.58 -0.67 \mu K^2 and the kSZ power to be DkSZ = 2.9 +- 1.3 \mu K^2. The data prefer positive kSZ power at 98.1% CL. We measure a correlation coefficient of \xi = 0.113 +0.057 -0.054 between sources of tSZ and CIB power, with \xi < 0 disfavored at a confidence level of 99.0%. The constraint on kSZ power can be interpreted as an upper limit on the duration of reionization. When the post-reionization homogeneous kSZ signal is accounted for, we find an upper limit on the duration \Delta z < 5.4 at 95% CL.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: (Abridged) We use 95, 150, and 220GHz observations from the SPT to examine the SZE signatures of a sample of 46 X-ray selected groups and clusters drawn from ~6 deg^2 of the XMM-BCS. These systems extend to redshift z=1.02, have characteristic masses ~3x lower than clusters detected directly in the SPT data and probe the SZE signal to the lowest X-ray luminosities (>10^42 erg s^-1) yet. We develop an analysis tool that combines the SZE information for the full ensemble of X-ray-selected clusters. Using X-ray luminosity as a mass proxy, we extract selection-bias corrected constraints on the SZE significance- and Y_500-mass relations. The SZE significance- mass relation is in good agreement with an extrapolation of the relation obtained from high mass clusters. However, the fit to the Y_500-mass relation at low masses, while in good agreement with the extrapolation from high mass SPT clusters, is in tension at 2.8 sigma with the constraints from the Planck sample. We examine the tension with the Planck relation, discussing sample differences and biases that could contribute. We also present an analysis of the radio galaxy point source population in this ensemble of X-ray selected systems. We find 18 of our systems have 843 MHz SUMSS sources within 2 arcmin of the X-ray centre, and three of these are also detected at significance >4 by SPT. Of these three, two are associated with the group brightest cluster galaxies, and the third is likely an unassociated quasar candidate. We examine the impact of these point sources on our SZE scaling relation analyses and find no evidence of biases. We also examine the impact of dusty galaxies using constraints from the 220 GHz data. The stacked sample provides 2.8$\sigma$ significant evidence of dusty galaxy flux, which would correspond to an average underestimate of the SPT Y_500 signal that is (17+-9) per cent in this sample of low mass systems.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Gravitational lensing due to the large-scale distribution of matter in the cosmos distorts the primordial cosmic microwave background (CMB) and thereby induces new, small-scale B-mode polarization. This signal carries detailed information about the distribution of all the gravitating matter between the observer and CMB last scattering surface. We report the first direct evidence for polarization lensing based on purely CMB information, from using the four-point correlations of even- and odd-parity E- and B-mode polarization mapped over ∼30 square degrees of the sky measured by the POLARBEAR experiment. These data were analyzed using a blind analysis framework and checked for spurious systematic contamination using null tests and simulations. Evidence for the signal of polarization lensing and lensing B modes is found at 4.2σ (stat+sys) significance. The amplitude of matter fluctuations is measured with a precision of 27%, and is found to be consistent with the Lambda cold dark matter cosmological model. This measurement demonstrates a new technique, capable of mapping all gravitating matter in the Universe, sensitive to the sum of neutrino masses, and essential for cleaning the lensing B-mode signal in searches for primordial gravitational waves.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Physical Review Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We present a velocity dispersion-based mass calibration of the South Pole Telescope Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect survey (SPT-SZ) galaxy cluster sample. Using a homogeneously selected sample of 100 cluster candidates from 720 deg2 of the survey along with 63 velocity dispersion ($\sigma_v$) and 16 X-ray Yx measurements of sample clusters, we simultaneously calibrate the mass-observable relation and constrain cosmological parameters. The calibrations using $\sigma_v$ and Yx are consistent at the $0.6\sigma$ level, with the $\sigma_v$ calibration preferring ~16% higher masses. We use the full cluster dataset to measure $\sigma_8(\Omega_ m/0.27)^{0.3}=0.809\pm0.036$. The SPT cluster abundance is lower than preferred by either the WMAP9 or Planck+WMAP9 polarization (WP) data, but assuming the sum of the neutrino masses is $\sum m_\nu=0.06$ eV, we find the datasets to be consistent at the 1.0$\sigma$ level for WMAP9 and 1.5$\sigma$ for Planck+WP. Allowing for larger $\sum m_\nu$ further reconciles the results. When we combine the cluster and Planck+WP datasets with BAO and SNIa, the preferred cluster masses are $1.9\sigma$ higher than the Yx calibration and $0.8\sigma$ higher than the $\sigma_v$ calibration. Given the scale of these shifts (~44% and ~23% in mass, respectively), we execute a goodness of fit test; it reveals no tension, indicating that the best-fit model provides an adequate description of the data. Using the multi-probe dataset, we measure $\Omega_ m=0.299\pm0.009$ and $\sigma_8=0.829\pm0.011$. Within a $\nu$CDM model we find $\sum m_\nu = 0.148\pm0.081$ eV. We present a consistency test of the cosmic growth rate. Allowing both the growth index $\gamma$ and the dark energy equation of state parameter $w$ to vary, we find $\gamma=0.73\pm0.28$ and $w=-1.007\pm0.065$, demonstrating that the expansion and the growth histories are consistent with a LCDM model ($\gamma=0.55; \,w=-1$).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

5k Citations
619.35 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008-2015
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • • Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
      • • Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy
      Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • 2014
    • Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati di Trieste
      Trst, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
  • 2008-2014
    • University of Colorado
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 1999-2014
    • University of Chicago
      • • Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
      • • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      • • Enrico Fermi Institute
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Cambridge
      • Institute of Astronomy
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
      • Departamento de Anatomía
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
  • 2006-2010
    • McGill University
      • Department of Physics
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2004-2008
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, CA, United States