2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
 
Cosmological research with the 10-meter South Pole Telescope
 

Program Manager:
Dr. Vladimir Papitashvili

Event Number: A-379-S
NSF/PLR Award 1248097

ASC POC/Implementer:
Sune Tamm / Paul Sullivan

Dr. John Carlstrom (Principal Investigator)
jc@kicp.uchicago.edu
http://pole.uchicago.eduExternal Non U.S. Government Site

University of Chicago
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Chicago, Illinois

Supporting Stations:  South Pole Station
Research Locations:  Dark Sector

Project Description:
The South Pole Telescope (SPT) conducts cosmological research by measuring the intensity and polarization anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. The first key project was to survey over 2,500 square degrees of the sky with high sensitivity in three wavelength bands centered at 90, 150, and 220 GHz. This survey was completed in November 2011. The goal of the project is to detect all galaxy clusters in this region of the sky through the spectral distortion they impart on the CMB. The distortion is called the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The observed effect has the remarkable property of being independent of the distance to the cluster. The resulting SPT catalog of galaxy clusters is being used to set constraints on the mysterious dark energy that dominates the mass-energy density of the Universe and is causing the expansion of the Universe to accelerate. The second key project started in 2012 with the installation of an ultra-sensitive polarization receiver on the SPT. Through measurements of the polarization, researchers will determine the sum of the masses of the neutrinos and either detect or set stringent upper limits on the energy scale of inflation.

Field Season Overview:
This coming austral summer season for the SPT project will be focused primarily on maintenance and calibration. There are no new major upgrades planned.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Ken Aird
  • Bradford Benson
  • Lindsey Bleem
  • John Carlstrom (PI)
  • Thomas Crawford
  • Wendeline Everett
  • Jason Gallicchio
  • Christopher Greer
  • James Hrubes
  • Nicholas Huang
  • Erik Leitch
  • Daniel Marrone
  • Johanna Nagy
  • Tyler Natoli
  • John Ruhl (Co-PI)
  • Benjamin Saliwanchik
  • Kyle Story

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs