Imprints of Primordial Gravitational Waves on the Cosmic Microwave Background Detected by the BICEP-2 Experiment

Imprints of Primordial Gravitational Waves on the Cosmic Microwave Background Detected by the BICEP-2 Experiment

We have the pleasure of hearing about the exciting new experimental discovery of gravitational waves in the CMB by the BICEP-2 experiment. The speaker is none other than Dr Polnarev, astrophysicist in the Astro Unit at SPA, who gave the original theoretical prediction of this signature of cosmological gravitational waves.

ABSTRACT: It was predicted many years ago (A.Polnarev, 1985) that cosmological gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time generated in the Very Early Universe, can be detected by their imprints on the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation via its polarization. Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration have very recently presented the first images of such gravitational waves (arXiv:submit/0934323, 17 March 2014). This talk will provide an introduction to how CMB polarization is generated by cosmological gravitational waves, and is aimed at researchers whose knowledge of electromagnetic waves is much greater than their knowledge of gravitational waves and inflationary cosmological models.

Date and Venue: Friday March 28, 4.30 p.m, David Sizer Lecture theatre