Polarization of the microwave background due to primordial gravitational waves

Robert Crittenden, Richard L. Davis, Paul J. Steinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

The contribution of gravitational wave (tensor metric) and energy density (scalar metric) fluctuations to the cosmic microwave background polarization is computed. We find that the tensor contribution is significant only at large angular scales (multipoles l ≲ 40). For standard recombination, the tensor contribution can dominate at l ≲ 40; however, the effect would be difficult to detect since the total (scalar plus tensor) polarization is less than 1%. For models with late reionization, the total large angular scale polarization is large (∼7%-9%), but the tensor fraction is negligibly small. Hence, polarization may be useful for discriminating ionization history, but it is less promising as a means for detecting tensor fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L13-L16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume417
Issue number1 PART 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Cosmology: cosmic microwave background
  • Cosmology: observations

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Polarization of the microwave background due to primordial gravitational waves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this