AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 100 Origins Probes
Poster, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

Previous   |   Session 100   |   Next

[100.06] The Cosmic Inflation Probe (CIP) - Constraining the Physics of Inflation

G.J. Melnick, G.G. Fazio, V. Tolls (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), D.T. Jaffe, K. Gebhardt, V. Bromm, E. Komatsu (University of Texas), R.A. Woodruff (Lockheed-Martin Corporation)

The Cosmic Inflation Probe (CIP) is a NASA-funded Origins Probe mission study. CIP's main goal is to significantly constrain inflation models by conducting a space-based large-area (~140 sq. degrees) redshift survey in H\alpha between 2.5 and 5 microns capable of detecting objects between a z of 3 and 6.5. Matter-density fluctuations originate from quantum fluctuations generated during inflation, whose properties are determined by the shape of inflaton potential, and CIP will measure these fluctuations over a wide range of length scales. Specifically, CIP will measure the power spectrum of galaxy clustering to better than 1% over length scales of 1 to 50 Mpc. These results, combined with those from present and planned microwave background measurements and low-redshift galaxy surveys, will provide tremendous leverage on narrowing down the physics of the inflation epoch. To carry out these scientific goals within a 3-year baseline mission, we propose an extremely simple and straightforward observatory concept consisting of a 1.8-meter diameter telescope coupled to a wide field-of-view slitless grism spectrograph and an 8k x 8k infrared mosaic detector array. The instrument has no moving parts other than a one-time-use secondary mirror focus adjustment mechanism. Due to the inherently low thermal background of the proposed L2 orbit, no liquid cryogens or refrigerators are required to ensure that CIP is background limited throughout the 2.5-5 micron range.

We gratefully acknowledge support from NASA Grant NNG04GQ39G.

Previous   |   Session 100   |   Next

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.