AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 30. Cosmological Probes and Parameters
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, International Ballroom South

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[30.07] A Correlation Receiver for Studying the Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation at 28, 31, & 33 GHz

B.G. Keating (U. of Wisconsin, Madison \& Brown U.), J.O. Gundersen (Princeton U.), C.W. O'Dell, L. Piccirillo, N.C. Stebor, P.T. Timbie (U. of Wisconsin, Madison)

The polarization state of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) has not yet been detected. Theoretical calculations predict its magnitude at large angular scales is < 1\muK -- an order of magnitude below the large scale anisotropy level of the CMB. Detection of, or an improved upper limit on, the polarization of the CMB at large scales holds great promise for measuring fundamental properties of the standard cosmological model, such as the ionization history of the Universe and the contribution of gravitational waves to the spectrum of primordial density fluctuations.

The POLAR (Polarization Observations of Large Angular Regions) project is a ground-based, centimeter-wavelength correlation polarimeter designed to detect the polarization of the CMB at 28, 31, & 33 GHz. The POLAR radiometer has been acquiring data since March 1999 from the University of Wisconsin -- Madison. The design of the instrument as well as initial results are described.

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