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Lensing of 21-cm fluctuations by primordial gravitational waves.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review Letters
1079-7114
Publisher
American Physical Society
Publication Date
Volume
108
Issue
21
Pages
211301–211301
Identifiers
PMID: 23003237
Source
Medline

Abstract

Weak-gravitational-lensing distortions to the intensity pattern of 21-cm radiation from the dark ages can be decomposed geometrically into curl and curl-free components. Lensing by primordial gravitational waves induces a curl component, while the contribution from lensing by density fluctuations is strongly suppressed. Angular fluctuations in the 21-cm background extend to very small angular scales, and measurements at different frequencies probe different shells in redshift space. There is thus a huge trove of information with which to reconstruct the curl component of the lensing field, allowing tensor-to-scalar ratios conceivably as small as r~10(-9)-far smaller than those currently accessible-to be probed.

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