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A detection of CMB-cluster lensing using polarization data from SPTpol

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We report the first detection of gravitational lensing due to galaxy clusters using only the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The lensing signal is obtained using a new estimator that extracts the lensing dipole signature from stacked images formed by rotating the cluster-centered Stokes QU map cutouts along the direction of the locally measured background CMB polarization gradient. Using data from the SPTpol 500 deg2 survey at the locations of roughly 18,000 clusters with richness λ ≥ 10 from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Year-3 full galaxy cluster catalog, we detect lensing at 4.8σ. The mean stacked mass of the selected sample is found to be (1.43 ± 0.4) x 1014  M which is in good agreement with optical weak lensing based estimates using DES data and CMB-lensing based estimates using SPTpol temperature data. This measurement is a key first step for cluster cosmology with future low-noise CMB surveys, like CMB-S4, for which CMB polarization will be the primary channel for cluster lensing measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number181301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • PhysRevLett.123.181301

    Rights statement: S. Raghunathatn (SPTpol and DES Collaboration). 'Detection of CMB-Cluster Lensing using Polarization Data from SPTpol.' Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 181301. © 2019 American Physical Society. All rights reserved.

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