How did the Universe begin? The prevailing idea is that the Bang of the Big Bang was an early burst of exponential expansion, dubbed inflation. A key prediction of inflation is that it generated gravitational waves. The corresponding ripples in the space-time geometry left an imprint in the polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). A new generation of experiments are making a major step towards this signal by mapping the microwave sky polarisation with an unprecedented sensitivity and combination of sky coverage, angular resolution and wavelengths. These experiments may show whether the energy scale of inflation predicted by the simplest models is correct. However, unlike for temperature anisotropies, Galactic foregrounds have larger amplitude than any putative primordial B-mode signal. The signature of cosmic inflation will not be detected, unless contamination associated with the dusty and magnetized interstellar medium in the Galaxy is removed with the required accuracy and confidence. Within the competitive field of CMB studies, the MISTIC project proposes a unique contribution to the search for its B-mode polarisation. The MISTIC team has the unmatched ambition and capability to tie the analysis of polarisation data and component separation to state-of-the-art understanding and modelling of the dusty magnetized interstellar medium. Our project goal is to achieve the breakthroughs in the fields of Galactic astrophysics, microwave sky modelling, and component separation, required to achieve the best sensitivity on the B-mode CMB polarisation. Our work plan bridges data analysis, physical modelling, sky modelling and component separation into an iterative process that will take full advantage of the uniqueness and complementarities of expertise and data gathered in the MISTIC project.
Fields of science
- natural sciencescomputer and information sciencesdata sciencedata analysis
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesastronomyplanetary sciencecelestial mechanics
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesastronomyobservational astronomygravitational waves
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesastronomyphysical cosmologybig bang
Call for proposal
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