Measurement of the cosmic microwave background polarization lensing power spectrum with the POLARBEAR experiment

Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Jul 11;113(2):021301. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.021301. Epub 2014 Jul 9.


Gravitational lensing due to the large-scale distribution of matter in the cosmos distorts the primordial cosmic microwave background (CMB) and thereby induces new, small-scale B-mode polarization. This signal carries detailed information about the distribution of all the gravitating matter between the observer and CMB last scattering surface. We report the first direct evidence for polarization lensing based on purely CMB information, from using the four-point correlations of even- and odd-parity E- and B-mode polarization mapped over ∼30 square degrees of the sky measured by the POLARBEAR experiment. These data were analyzed using a blind analysis framework and checked for spurious systematic contamination using null tests and simulations. Evidence for the signal of polarization lensing and lensing B modes is found at 4.2σ (stat+sys) significance. The amplitude of matter fluctuations is measured with a precision of 27%, and is found to be consistent with the Lambda cold dark matter cosmological model. This measurement demonstrates a new technique, capable of mapping all gravitating matter in the Universe, sensitive to the sum of neutrino masses, and essential for cleaning the lensing B-mode signal in searches for primordial gravitational waves.