Inflation describes the time period when the Universe sprang in to being. If this brief, but dramatic expansion occurred, it should have created a gravitational background that would distort the polarization of the CMB. With a series of targeted experiments, I seek to measure this inflationary B-mode signal and help shape the picture of how our Universe began. The Keck Array is a unique telescope
that uses small apertures to
allow for an elegant optics
design and large focal
planes. By the end of winter
2011 we deployed the
full compliment of five
telescopes at the geographic
The period after the Big Bang and recombination is called the dark ages. New telescopes and cosmological probes are targeting this time period to see how the Universe transformed from a more featureless one dominated by neutral gas into one filled with the structures we see today. Reionization describes the time period when the very first structures formed and generated enough light to completely ionize the Universe. I am interested in figuring out how the first structures formed, and which objects ionized the Universe, and when.
The Tomographic Ionized-Carbon Mapping Experiment (TIME) is setting out to probe reionization by making a 3-D image of the Universe at high redshift. The C+ line traces star formation and is one of the brightest lines in galaxies. With a rest-frame wavelength of 158 microns, it redshifts between z~5-9 in the mm-wave bands. Detecting the individual galaxies responsible for reionization is difficult. This has been shown with the ambitious Hubble ultra deep field measurements that is detecting a handful of extremely luminous z>6 galaxies. Our measurement
uses an emerging technique that is sensitive to the integrated light produced by
faint galaxies: spectral intensity mapping with 3-D spatial and spectral information
to study EoR star formation rate density.