The atacama cosmology telescope: Cosmological parameters from the 2008 power spectrum

J. Dunkley, R. Hlozek, J. Sievers, V. Acquaviva, P. A.R. Ade, P. Aguirre, M. Amiri, J. W. Appel, L. F. Barrientos, E. S. Battistelli, J. R. Bond, B. Brown, B. Burger, J. Chervenak, S. Das, M. J. Devlin, S. R. Dicker, W. Bertrand Doriese, R. Dünner, T. Essinger-HilemanR. P. Fisher, J. W. Fowler, A. Hajian, M. Halpern, M. Hasselfield, C. Hernndez-Monteagudo, G. C. Hilton, M. Hilton, A. D. Hincks, K. M. Huffenberger, D. H. Hughes, J. P. Hughes, L. Infante, K. D. Irwin, J. B. Juin, M. Kaul, J. Klein, A. Kosowsky, J. M. Lau, M. Limon, Y. T. Lin, R. H. Lupton, T. A. Marriage, D. Marsden, P. Mauskopf, F. Menanteau, K. Moodley, H. Moseley, C. B. Netterfield, M. D. Niemack, M. R. Nolta, L. A. Page, L. Parker, B. Partridge, B. Reid, N. Sehgal, B. Sherwin, D. N. Spergel, S. T. Staggs, D. S. Swetz, E. R. Switzer, R. Thornton, H. Trac, C. Tucker, R. Warne, E. Wollack, Y. Zhao

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We present cosmological parameters derived from the angular power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation observed at 148GHz and 218GHz over 296deg2 with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) during its 2008 season. ACT measures fluctuations at scales 500 < ℓ < 10, 000. We fit a model for the lensed CMB, Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ), and foreground contribution to the 148GHz and 218GHz power spectra, including thermal and kinetic SZ, Poisson power from radio and infrared point sources, and clustered power from infrared point sources. At ℓ = 3000, about half the power at 148GHz comes from primary CMB after masking bright radio sources. The power from thermal and kinetic SZ is estimated to be , where . The IR Poisson power at 148GHz is (C = 5.5 0.5 nK2), and a clustered IR component is required with , assuming an analytic model for its power spectrum shape. At 218GHz only about 15% of the power, approximately 27 μK 2, is CMB anisotropy at ℓ = 3000. The remaining 85% is attributed to IR sources (approximately 50% Poisson and 35% clustered), with spectral index α = 3.69 0.14 for flux scaling as S(ν)να. We estimate primary cosmological parameters from the less contaminated 148GHz spectrum, marginalizing over SZ and source power. The ΛCDM cosmological model is a good fit to the data (χ2/dof = 29/46), and ΛCDM parameters estimated from ACT+Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) are consistent with the seven-year WMAP limits, with scale invariant ns = 1 excluded at 99.7% confidence level (CL) (3σ). A model with no CMB lensing is disfavored at 2.8σ. By measuring the third to seventh acoustic peaks, and probing the Silk damping regime, the ACT data improve limits on cosmological parameters that affect the small-scale CMB power. The ACT data combined with WMAP give a 6σ detection of primordial helium, with Y P = 0.313 0.044, and a 4σ detection of relativistic species, assumed to be neutrinos, with N eff = 5.3 1.3 (4.6 0.8 with BAO+H 0 data). From the CMB alone the running of the spectral index is constrained to be dns /dln k = -0.034 0.018, the limit on the tensor-to-scalar ratio is r < 0.25 (95% CL), and the possible contribution of Nambu cosmic strings to the power spectrum is constrained to string tension Gμ < 1.6 × 10-7 (95% CL).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • cosmic background radiation
  • cosmological parameters
  • cosmology: observations

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    Dunkley, J., Hlozek, R., Sievers, J., Acquaviva, V., Ade, P. A. R., Aguirre, P., Amiri, M., Appel, J. W., Barrientos, L. F., Battistelli, E. S., Bond, J. R., Brown, B., Burger, B., Chervenak, J., Das, S., Devlin, M. J., Dicker, S. R., Doriese, W. B., Dünner, R., ... Zhao, Y. (2011). The atacama cosmology telescope: Cosmological parameters from the 2008 power spectrum. Astrophysical Journal, 739(1), [52].