Contributed Talk - Splinter RadioSky

Wednesday, 14 September 2022, 16:15   (SFG 1030 / virtual RadioSky)

The Next Generation Cosmic Microwave Background Experiment – CMB-S4

Benjamin L. Schmitt
Harvard University

Measurement of the polarized Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) over the past few decades has enabled precision probes of the evolutionary history, composition, and dynamics of the primordial Universe. The CMB science community has joined together to advance a comprehensive, next-generation CMB experiment, called CMB-S4, which will allow for critical thresholds to be crossed in our understanding of the origin and evolutionary history of the Universe. CMB-S4’s scientific reach will allow for tests of the inflationary theory of the early Universe and search for the signature of primordial gravitational waves, driven through constraints on the tensor-to-scalar ratio “r” via the search for primordial B-mode polarization. More broadly, the CMB-S4 science scope will encompass probes into dark energy and dark matter, determine the neutrino mass scale, and search for yet-to-be-discovered relic particles. Of particular interest to the global astronomy community, the CMB-S4 data set has a great potential to advance general astrophysics and open discovery space from transient alerts, as well as calibrated maps in all bands and on all angular scales. CMB-S4 will encompass the design, integration, deployment, and operation of a suite of large- and small-aperture telescopes across the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, and the high-altitude Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Atacama site will host two 6-meter large aperture telescopes, while the South Pole site will host a single high-throughput 5-meter large aperture telescope, and 18 small aperture telescopes, with designs drawing from decades of community experience. Based on its spectacular science promise and technical maturity, CMB-S4 was endorsed by the report of the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel “Building for Discovery,” the NAS/NRC report “A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctica and Southern Ocean Research,” and the NAS report “Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s.” This talk will provide a brief overview of the entire CMB-S4 program and a deeper dive into the project development status of the CMB-S4 small aperture telescopes program.