Pipeline development for next-generation Cosmic Microwave Background observations


The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), relic radiation from the hot Big-Bang, carries a wealth of information about physical processes at work in the very early universe, at energies far beyond the reach of man-made particle accelerators. Next generation observatories are poised to further constrain physics beyond the Standard Model of particles and fields, the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, the existence of primordial Gravitational Waves, and the formation of structures. 
This PhD research topic is in the context of the preparation of the analysis of future CMB observations with CMB-S4. The CMB-S4 experiment, recently ranked by the US Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) as the top priority for the next decade, will deploy arrays of telescopes at the South Pole and in Chile to measure the imprint of cosmological inflation on CMB polarization anisotropies, look for light particles beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, map matter in the Hubble volume via CMB lensing and the detection of distant galaxy clusters, and contribute to the multi-messenger observation of violent phenomena such as Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs), Tidal Disruption Events around massive black holes, and transient emission of various astrophysical origin.
The unmatched sensitivity of CMB-S4 demands robust data processing pipelines to produce precise and accurate multi-frequency maps of sky emission at millimeter wavelengths. The data analysis must compose with subtle systematic effects in the observations, originating from non-idealities in the instrumental response, and radiation pick-up from the terrestrial environment (atmosphere, ground emission). Within the Berkeley CMB-S4 data processing team, the PhD student will contribute to develop a data analysis pipeline to produce well-characterized, low-noise maps of sky emission for CMB-S4 observations, exploiting data redundancies, advanced modeling of instrumental effects, and ancillary data from existing CMB observations such as observations from the ESA Planck space mission. A particular emphasis will be put on the optimization of the data pipeline for the main science objectives of CMB-S4, and in particular the detection of primordial gravitational waves in CMB polarization observations.
The PhD student will be based in Berkeley, USA (Centre Pierre Binétruy and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory), working mostly with Jacques Delabrouille (PhD supervisor) and Reijo Keskitalo, in collaboration with Michel Piat at the APC laboratory in Paris. 
Students with interest in cosmology, signal and image processing, and high-performance computing are particularly encouraged to apply. Arrangements can be made for an internship in the context of the candidates Master's Degree prior to the beginning of the PhD work.


Jacques Delabrouille






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