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Relic gravitational waves: latest revisions and preparations for new data

  • Zhao, Wen
  • Grishchuk, L. P.
Published Article
Publication Date
Dec 26, 2010
Submission Date
Sep 27, 2010
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.82.123008
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The forthcoming release of data from the Planck mission, and possibly from the next round of Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) observations, make it necessary to revise the evaluations of relic gravitational waves in the existing data and, at the same time, to refine the assumptions and data analysis techniques in preparation for the arrival of new data. We reconsider with the help of the commonly used CosmoMC numerical package the previously found indications of relic gravitational waves in the 7-year (WMAP7) data. The CosmoMC approach reduces the confidence of these indications from approximately 2$\sigma$ level to approximately 1$\sigma$ level, but the indications do not disappear altogether. We critically analyze the assumptions that are currently used in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) data analyzes and outline the strategy that should help avoid the oversight of relic gravitational waves in the future CMB data. In particular, it is important to keep away from the unwarranted assumptions about density perturbations. The prospects of confident detection of relic gravitational waves by the Planck satellite have worsened, but they are still good. It appears that more effort will be required in order to mitigate the foreground contamination.

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