The next decade of CMB cosmology: gravitational waves, neutrinos and non-Gaussianities

Playing this video requires the latest flash player from Adobe.

Download link (right click and 'save-as') for playing in VLC or other compatible player.

Recording Details

Scientific Areas: 
PIRSA Number: 


We are currently entering the era of precision CMB polarization observations. The most exciting scientific targets are a possible detection of primordial gravitational waves and a measurement of the sum of the neutrino masses. The former depends on the extensive landscape of early Universe models, while the latter has been forecasted to present a clear, and reachable, scientific target. First, if large angular B modes are detected, we should firmly establish that these are sourced by primordial gravitational waves. I will discuss that cross correlating the B-mode signal with the curl-lensing field could help establish the nature of the detected B-modes. Second, I will propose to look beyond Gaussianity in the tensor sector. Scalar non-Gaussianities are tightly constrained by Planck, but couplings between tensors and scalars are currently not constrained and future CMB polarization surveys could open a new window into the early Universe, by searching for tensor non-Gaussianites. Finally, a detection of the normal hierarchy of the neutrino mass requires an excellent measurement of the amplitude of primordial fluctuations. The required measurement can only be achieved if we are able to measure the large angle E-mode polarization spectrum, which currently lies beyond reach, at least within the foreseeable future. I will present a possible solution and show how this simple methodology can be used to constrain exotic primordial physics at the same time.