Observation of the Cosmic Microwave Background: The ESA Planck mission and Beyond
Prof. Martin Bucher
Universite Paris 7/CNRS, Paris, France
12:00, Sep 23 (Wednesday), 2015
Cosmic microwave background experiments have played a key role in establishing cosmology as a proper science where theoretical speculation is tightly constrained by observation. The ESA Planck space mission has mapped the full microwave sky with unprecedented precision in both temperature and polarization at several frequencies. These observations have resulted in a greatly improved characterization of the power spectrum (i.e., the two-point function), the bispectrum, and other measures of non-Gaussianity. I will present an overview of these results and their theoretical interpretation as well as surveying prospects for future experiments, in particular those for detecting and characterizing the B mode of the CMB polarization, which is the tell-tale signature of primordial gravitational waves generated during inflation.