SciPol: the project

SciPol is a project funded by the European Research council that started on the 1st of January 2023 for a duration of 5 years. The PI is Josquin Errard.

Announcement of the start of the project on the CNRS news letter.
Space-time diagram of our expanding Universe. CMB observatories have access to all the objects between us and the edge of our observable Universe — the last scattering surface at the bottom of our light cone. SciPol’s main scientific goal is the characterization of primordial fluctuations, and in particular the testing of cosmological inflation theories.

Abstract of the project:
Observational cosmology is moving towards its next major milestone: high-precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background polarization with the goal of detecting and characterizing the primordial B- modes. These polarization patterns would provide a unique picture of the early Universe, shedding the light on the conditions at that time, be it cosmic inflation, gauge fields, or more exotic possibilities. In a regime of energy where standard models are expected to break, such observations could revolutionize our current picture of cosmology and high energy physics.
Characterizing such signal requires (1) reaching extremely low instrumental sensitivity levels and (2) controlling instrumental and astrophysical systematic effects with unprecedented fidelity. While (1) is about to be reached with the planned deployment of funded, cutting-edge observatories such as the Simons Array/ Observatory, CMB-S4 and LiteBIRD, (2) is already limiting the current constraints and will be studied and uniquely mitigated by SciPol.
Our project will:
‣ construct accurate, open-source and versatile models for the instrumental, astrophysical signals and noise properties;
‣ develop and exploit new, general algorithms adjusting previous models from observations, and producing a unique set of instrument- and foreground-corrected maps;
‣ make a statistically robust cosmological inference of these, especially on the large scale, implementing a gravitational lensing correction.

The typical detection chain of CMB polarization with a ground-based observatory, followed by the traditional data analysis pipeline.
SciPol’s method with definition of the main WorkPackages.