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Superconducting Technology and Measuring the Cosmic Neutrino Background

Abstract: Advances in superconducting Transition Edge Sensors (TES) are enabling new measurements relevant for understanding the Cosmic Neutrino Background (CvB). I will discuss how TES technology is enabling indirect measures of the CvB through ground-breaking measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation with the South Pole Telescope (SPT), a 10-m mm-wave observatory at the geographic South Pole. In 2011, the SPT completed a 2500 sq deg survey using a TES bolometer focal plane. The unprecedented combination of sensitivity, area, and resolution of this survey enables an exciting program of cosmological measurement. Among the spectrum of new cosmological results are interesting insights into the existence and properties of the CvB. TES detectors are also the core technology for the SPTpol instrument, a CMB polarimeter recently deployed on the SPT in 2012. I will provide an update on the performance of SPTpol and discuss its potential for probing the CvB via measurement of the elusive CMB "B-modes." I will also outline plans for SPT's third generation TES-based focal plane, SPT-3G. Measurements by SPT-3G will explore the CvB at a level that is potentially relevant for understanding the neutrino mass hierarchy. Finally, I will present a new implementation of TES detectors as part of the PTOLEMY (Princeton Tritium Observatory for Light, Early-universe, Massive-neutrino Yield) experiment. PTOLEMY will detect CvB neutrinos through capture on Tritium providing a direct measure of the CvB.
Speaker: Clarence Chang - Argonne National Laboratory
Speaker Bio: Grad school at Stanford w/ Blas Cabrera working on the CDMS-II experiment Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago with John Carlstro working on the South Pole Telescope Currently an Assistant Physicist at Argonne National Lab.
Poster Link: Poster