Cosmic Microwave Background Analysis

Simulated map of all Planck 100GHz detectors for the full mission length. TOAST was used to read signal timestreams, generate realistic noise, and make a destriped map of this data.

The existence and properties of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) are a pillar supporting the current Lambda CDM model of cosmology. A few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, the temperature of the universe had cooled enough to allow most photons to free-stream without scattering off of electrons. After this "decoupling" of the photons from the matter, some of these photons travelled onward for more than thirteen billion years. As the universe expanded, the wavelength of this light was redshifted enough that in our current epoch we see this light in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The study of the CMB gives us insight into the conditions present in the early universe, as well as the properties of the intervening matter that the light has passed through on its journey.


I am the lead architect of a set of parallel software tools for making sky maps and other products out of raw data from microwave telescopes (and other instruments which record data as timestreams). You can read more about TOAST here.


I am a member of several collaborations conducting CMB observations, and participate in data processing and software support. If you are a member of one of those collaborations, you can access experiment-specific information below. You might also like to read about HPCPorts, which forms the software infrastructure with which these tools are built on supercomputers at NERSC and elsewhere.

  • Planck
  • PolarBear (see collaboration wiki)
  • EBEX (see collaboration wiki)