BICEP2: Now we are getting somewhere!

I have just come across some key information about the bicep2 telescope science in a CalTech Magazine. I had missed this crucial information earlier. I should not have – and I offer my apologies.

I do not exaggerate by much when I say that as I read the above report, I nearly fell off my chair!

The thing is that I grossly underestimated the incredible botch up that went down. The situation is actually far worse than I had described to you – and I can now point you to the documented evidence. And I can also tell you that they possess the data that I said they should produce.

THE APERTURE ISSUE

I have said repeatedly that the bicep2 aperture is too small to be mapping CMB polarization.

But this question had already been answered: Their answer is that the 26 cm dia. Bicep2 (refractor) Telescope has the same radiation gathering power as the nearby 10 meter dia. South Pole (reflector) Telescope.

This was the scientific principle on which bicep2 was designed to produce such high resolution CMB polarization maps with a coffee can sized telescope.

No, this is not a joke. Read it below yourself.

All I can say is: LORD HAVE MERCY!

So I will repeat: The bicep2 aperture is too small to be mapping CMB polarization. Its design was based on basic misunderstandings.

(I will see if I can explain this is simple terms later.)

Enough said!

THE IMAGING PLANE ISSUE

I had always assumed that measurements were made with the telescope’s imaging plane in a fixed orientation. This is why I said they should produce the sky imaged for different orientations of the telescope.

But this was not what they reported. It seems that measurements were averaged continuously (daily) in some weird way (by spinning the telescope) over 360-degree rotation of the imaging plane about the telescope axis.

This means that the botch ups were averaged. In other words, the artifactual image was rotated in the sky and averaged over the full rotation.

This averaging is scientifically nonsensical because the imaging plane is not rotationally indistinguishable. Its antenna layout has a rectangular architecture and manifestly different x-dependence and y-dependence.

I mean, would you average the trajectories of five incoming missiles and direct your countermeasure to the average trajectory?

But it seems therefore that the sky image for each angular orientation has been recorded and is available. So they simply have to produce the images for several angles (e.g. near 0, 45 and 90 degrees) and show that they are all the same. In fact this step needed to take place BEFORE they resorted to the averaging, in order to justify the averaging. So chances are this information is ready and handily available.

They can, for example, give these to a blogger to publish.

So the question I asked is still the same: Where are the primary skymaps as a function of the orientation of the imaging plane?

So I repeat: They should produce the sky images for different angular orientations of the telescope about its axis, from their existing data files.

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