There is out a new paper on BICEP2 instrumentation. It also pertains to Keck and SPIDER instrumentation. While I do not need any more information to know that this instrument is a total botch up, others may be swayed by this most impressive-looking paper.
So I took a look see. To get into the good stuff, you have to know where exactly to look. I will give you four major issues, each fatal in itself. Now it is all there in evidentiary black and white.
They have laid out their reasoned final position. I am giving you my reasoned final position.
BICEP2 antennas are a series of slots cut into a metal plane. Below the metal plane is a thin layer of dielectric. On the bottom side of this dieletric substrate is the microstrip circuitry.
I had explained that placing microstrip circuitry to close to the antenna slot alters the performance of the antenna. They say that the metal plane shields the microstrip circuitry from the electromagnetic radiation incident on it (from above.) They are saying there are no electromagnetic fields below the metal plane.
This is how antenna engineer wannabes think. I have seen this before. The very way the slot antennas work is by the induction of electromagnetic fields in the slot and above and below it. If there were no fields below the plane, the antennas would not be working!
So they have not understood the very first thing about the very first level of their imaging science.
Now that they have let it all hang out, it seems that their axial ratio is around ~ 20 -25 dB. This is not anywhere near the kind of axial ratio needed in astronomical polarimetry (probably >> 40 dB), and certainly not good enough to detect those beautiful B-mode swirls with a sensitivity of 1 in 30 million.
I had explained that the BICEP2 antennas have been placed far closer than permitted by electromagnetic theory and antenna theory. Closest spacing between the nearest antennas has to be greater than one-third wavelength. Now they say that their spacing was dictated by grating lobe considerations for their phased array.
These considerations refer to the maximum spacing corresponding to a maximum angle through which you wish to steer your beam from the forward direction. It is common sense that you should not want to steer the beam so much as to make the maximum distance equal to one-third the wavelength.
Yet their spacing is less than this. But wait a moment! It is even worse.
The phased array concept underlying the above issue is also wrong. Phased array theory they refer to pertains to a plane wave (equal phase front) incident on the array at some angle. This is not at all the case for BICEP2.
ANTENNA ISOLATION (CROSSTALK)
These people think that the nearest distance we are concerned with is the distance between two adjacent parallel antennas. This is a misconception. In their case it is the distance between the nearest antenna pair – even though these two antennas are orthogonal. And this distance here is much smaller than one-third wavelength.
The bottom line is that the principle of BICEP2 imaging required each antenna to be independent of its neighboring antennas. This is not the case. In fact, there is a continuous linkage (through crosstalk) running all across the imaging plane. Like interlocked wood flooring.
Planck Collaboration has aggressively endorsed BICEP2 technology in spite of all these, and more. They have even granted that BICEP2 technology is superior to Planck’s. They have confirmed that BICEP2 detected B-mode polarization on the sky. Physical Review Letters is going to publish this. This falsehood is going to be enshrined for posterity.
When a group of powerful scientists engage in blatant quackery and another group of powerful scientists back them up and the rest of the scientific establishment gives silent support, who do you go to?
It is most outrageous what is happening right in front of our eyes in the name of science. Esoteric scientific ideas are being installed by brute force, by collective establishment power. This is no longer an issue of collective ineptness. It is collective science fraud and collective taxpayer fraud. I can say it because it is true, and it is defensible in any forum other than a thoroughly corrupt scientific establishment.