[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

Contact: Christine Pulliam
cpulliam@cfa.harvard.edu
617-495-7463
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

B-mode Polarization over Temperature Fluctuations

Caption: The tiny temperature fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background (shown here as color) trace primordial density fluctuations in the early universe that seed the later growth of galaxies. These fluctuations produce a pattern of polarization in the CMB that has no twisting to it. Gravitational waves from inflation are expected to produce much a fainter pattern that includes twisting ("B-mode") polarization, consistent with the B-mode polarization pattern observed by BICEP2, which is shown here as black lines. The line segments show the polarization strength and orientation at different spots on the sky.

Credit: BICEP2 Collaboration

Usage Restrictions: None

Related news release: First direct evidence of cosmic inflation


[ Back to EurekAlert! ]