Research Topic

Status and Prospects of Cosmic Microwave Background Analysis

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About this Research Topic

After the success of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), Planck and several ground and balloon-based experiments, we are today provided with a large amount of information about the details of the anisotropies in the intensity and polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). From these ...

After the success of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), Planck and several ground and balloon-based experiments, we are today provided with a large amount of information about the details of the anisotropies in the intensity and polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). From these measurements, we have been able to measure with exquisite precision a large number of cosmological parameters describing the way our Universe evolved from its birth to the present state. These results led to the affirmation of the so-called inflationary paradigm, which is currently the most widely adopted way to describe the birth of our Universe. However, many questions are still open. Inflation lacks the definitive proof of its validity, namely the measurement of a relic B-mode polarization pattern produced by primordial gravitational waves. Moreover, distortions in the CMB spectrum, although predicted by many models, have yet to be measured.

Because of the interest in this field, several experiments have been recently approved, and even more are underway, from ground, balloon-born and space environments, employing the latest technology and techniques for microwave sensing and control of systematics and sometimes betting on radically new solutions and approaches. As the scale of new experiments is growing exponentially, CMB data analysis is going to face many new challenges, concerning both algorithms and data storage/access requirements: we need scalable solutions and even better control of systematic effects.

In this Research Topic, we look forward to receiving original contributions and reviews about the topic, potentially encompassing all the aspects of the discipline mentioned above:

• theoretical models
• technological solutions
• foreground characterization
• data-analysis techniques

As the field of CMB measurements is rapidly evolving, we believe that a dedicated Research Topic would be an effective way to present the current status of the many ongoing worldwide efforts to reveal the secrets of the CMB. As most of the CMB world is structured in large collaborations, we welcome contributions that can provide an update of their activities; in these cases, we particularly appreciate papers authored by young members of the collaboration.

The Topic Editors Tomasi, Montier, Eriksen, Dickinson and Liguori declare that they are affiliated with the Planck collaboration on collecting and analyzing radiation from the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)


Keywords: CMB, gravitational waves, cosmology, astronomical instrumentation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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