Blackbody Cavity for CMB Spectral Distortions Measurements: Design and Performance for the COSMO Experiment
|Tutor di riferimento
COSMO (COSmological Monopole Observer) is a ground-based cryogenic Martin Puplett Interferomenter which aims at measure the monopole spectral distortions of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) by comparing the sky signal with a reference blackbody. Isotropic CMB spectral distortions can be produced by processes related to energy injections/extraction or photon production/destruction, therefore holding information about such processes in the thermal history of the Universe, opening a new window not only to the early-Universe but also to phenomena from the world of particle physics: particle decays, dark matter annihilation, reionization, structure formation and so on. To date, no isotropic spectral distortions have been detected and only upper limits have been set on their amplitude to one part in 100000. Nevertheless, since many of these processes are included in the standard cosmological model, the related spectral distortions are guaranteed to exist. CMB spectral distortions represent an independent and complementary source of information about processes in the Universe with respect to temperature and polarization anisotropies, which have already provided invaluable information about the Universe. The observations will be performed in the 150 and 220 GHz atmospheric windows and will take place in Dome-C, Antarctica, the best site on Earth in terms of atmospheric stability. The instrument is fully funded and the cryostat is under construction. The blackbody cavity design is currently under study by means of HFSS simulations, which have rarely been used for the study of such optical elements. A deep performance analysis, followed by dedicated measurements, is required to design and characterize a reference calibrator which needs to be as close as possible to a blackbody, otherwise distortions due to the calibrator itself would be produced.