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Roger O’Brient (JPL) “The Search for Inflationary Gravitational Waves: Current Status of the BICEP Program and Next Generation Instrumentation.”

March 21, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

For over a decade, the BICEP collaboration has been deploying small aperture telescopes to the South Pole Station to map B-mode polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background and
search for evidence of primordial gravitational waves. If detected, they would allow physicists
to constrain physics at energy scales of ~10 16 GeV levels. To date, this program places the
tightest constrains on the tensor-scalar ratio of r<0.07 (95% confidence). We are at an
important point in our program as we transition into “Stage-3” instruments with the BICEP-
array, which will search to a level of r>0.01. This rapid progress is fueled by the antenna-
coupled superconducting bolometers that we have developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. In my talk, I’ll summarize the science case for these experiments, describe the
instruments themselves with a focus on the detectors, discuss the recently collected data, and
comment on the future of our program. In particular, Thermal KIDs, an emerging bolometer
technology, will be critical for this next phase. Finally, I’ll comment on how LBL and DOE can
and will play a future role in this exciting frontier of fundamental physics.


March 21, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Zoom Talk
Berkeley, ca 94720