From Nano to Cosmo: the Discovery of Gravitational Waves from the Big Bang
A tremendous excitement has been generated by the recent announcement of the discovery of primordial gravitational waves through their unique signal imprinted on the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. If confirmed, this discovery opens a door to a brand new area of scientific investigation that has the promise to vastly expand our understanding of the Cosmos, our origins, and our understanding of the fundamental forces.
This result is particularly important to a growing program at Argonne that seeks to understand the origin and evolution of our universe utilizing cutting-edge measurements of the CMB.
In this talk, we will present an overview of our current understanding of cosmology and describe the theory of inflation, the best explanation of the observed primordial gravitational waves. We will also describe the unique way in which Argonne is involved in this research. First, HEP and MSD collaborate to develop the superconducting materials used in cutting-edge CMB detector technology. We then assemble and micro-machine those materials into sensors using the tools and expertise in NST/CNM. Finally, in collaboration with the Department of Astronomy at Chicago, we deploy those sensors to the South Pole Telescope, which we use to explore and understand our universe from its earliest moments and throughout its entire cosmic history.