Laura Mocanu
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Graduate Student, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Location: ERC 329

Scientific Advisor: John E. Carlstrom

Affiliations: Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

Publications: ADS | arXiv

Scientific Projects

Ph.D. Thesis Defense
Defense date: July 21, 2017
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Ph.D. Thesis: "Measuring the cosmic microwave background gravitational lensing potential and its power spectrum with SPTpol"

Ph.D. Committee members: Scott Dodelson, Brad Benson, Abigail Vieregg.

"Monica has make many important contributions to the analysis of South Pole Telescope CMB data. For her thesis she has used SPTpol temperature and polarization data to produce the most sensitive CMB lensing reconstruction of the mass distribution in the universe, paving the wave for SPT-BICEP B-mode delensing and other cosmological analysis."
- John Carlstrom, Ph.D. advisor

Thesis Abstract: Weak gravitational lensing by large-scale structure in the universe causes deflections in the paths of cosmic microwave background (CMB) photons. This effect introduces non-Gaussian correlations in the observed CMB temperature and polarization fields. The signature of lensing can be used to reconstruct the projected gravitational lensing potential with a quadratic estimator technique; this provides a measure of the integrated mass distribution out to the surface of last scattering. The power spectrum of the lensing potential encodes information about the geometry of the universe and the growth of structure and can be used to place constraints on the sum of neutrino masses and dark energy. High signal-to-noise mass maps from CMB lensing are also powerful for cross-correlating with other tracers of large-scale structure and for delensing the CMB in search for primordial gravitational waves. In my thesis, I describe a measurement of the CMB gravitational lensing potential and its power spectrum using data from 500 square degrees of sky observed with the polarization-sensitive receiver installed on the South Pole Telescope, SPTpol.

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