The intrinsic B-mode polarisation of the cosmic microwave background

Christian Fidler, Guido W. Pettinari, Martin Beneke, Robert Crittenden, Kazuya Koyama, David Wands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Downloads (Pure)


We estimate the B-polarisation induced in the Cosmic Microwave Background by the non-linear evolution of density perturbations. Using the second-order Boltzmann code SONG, our analysis incorporates, for the first time, all physical effects at recombination. We also include novel contributions from the redshift part of the Boltzmann equation and from the bolometric definition of the temperature in the presence of polarisation. The remaining line-of-sight terms (lensing and time-delay) have previously been studied and must be calculated non-perturbatively. The intrinsic B-mode polarisation is present independent of the initial conditions and might contaminate the signal from primordial gravitational waves. We find this contamination to be comparable to a primordial tensor-to-scalar ratio of r simeq 10−7 at the angular scale ℓ simeq 100, where the primordial signal peaks, and r simeq 5 × 10−5 at ℓ simeq 700, where the intrinsic signal peaks. Therefore, we conclude that the intrinsic B-polarisation from second-order effects is not likely to contaminate future searches of primordial gravitational waves.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014


  • gravitational waves and CMBR polarization
  • cosmological perturbation theory
  • CMBR theory
  • inflation


Dive into the research topics of 'The intrinsic B-mode polarisation of the cosmic microwave background'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this