skip to main content


Title: Line-of-sight extrapolation noise in dust polarization

The B-modes of polarization at frequencies ranging from 50-1000 GHz are produced by Galactic dust, lensing of primordial E-modes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) by intervening large scale structure, and possibly by primordial B-modes in the CMB imprinted by gravitational waves produced during inflation. The conventional method used to separate the dust component of the signal is to assume that the signal at high frequencies (e.g., 350 GHz) is due solely to dust and then extrapolate the signal down to lower frequency (e.g., 150 GHz) using the measured scaling of the polarized dust signal amplitude with frequency. For typical Galactic thermal dust temperatures of about 20K, these frequencies are not fully in the Rayleigh-Jeans limit. Therefore, deviations in the dust cloud temperatures from cloud to cloud will lead to different scaling factors for clouds of different temperatures. Hence, when multiple clouds of different temperatures and polarization angles contribute to the integrated line-of-sight polarization signal, the relative contribution of individual clouds to the integrated signal can change between frequencies. This can cause the integrated signal to be decorrelated in both amplitude and direction when extrapolating in frequency. Here we carry out a Monte Carlo analysis on the impact of thismore » line-of-sight extrapolation noise, enabling us to quantify its effect. Using results from the Planck experiment, we find that this effect is small, more than an order of magnitude smaller than the current uncertainties. However, line-of-sight extrapolation noise may be a significant source of uncertainty in future low-noise primordial B-mode experiments. Scaling from Planck results, we find that accounting for this uncertainty becomes potentially important when experiments are sensitive to primordial B-mode signals with amplitude r < 0.0015.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  2. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-PUB-16-263-A; arXiv:1606.08922
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010; PRVDAQ; 1472931
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359; FG02-95ER40896
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1358647