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Detecting gravitational lensing from the Cosmic Microwave Background

Abstract

Gravitational lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) measures all the matter content in the Universe. It can be used to constrain neutrino masses, calibrate biased tracers for large scale structure, and remove contamination of primordial B-modes. The theoretical framework, which includes simulations and reconstruction of gravitational lensing effects from CMB observations, has been established and applied through this dissertation. From observations of the CMB's temperature anisotropy, WMAP datasets are used to probe gravitational lensing effects. It is found that the lensing signal can not be directly detected from WMAP alone but can be indirectly detected at >3[sigma] if WMAP's CMB observations are cross-correlated with galaxy surveys. Other than the CMB temperature, the CMB polarization is of great importance because the CMB's polarization is more sensitive than its temperature to probing lensing effects. From the ground-based small-scale polarization experiment, POLARBEAR, we (for the first time) measure polarization lensing and lensing B-modes from different types of correlation functions. The B-mode power spectrum is measured, showing the evidence for lensing B-modes at the 2[sigma] level. Lensing reconstruction with B-modes is also performed. From the auto-correlation of the lensing reconstruction with B-modes, the polarization lensing and lensing B-mode signal is measured at the 4.2[sigma] level, including systematics. This signal measures dark matter fluctuations with 27% uncertainty. The matter structure seen in the lensing reconstruction is further validated by the cross-correlation with cosmic infrared background, which shows evidence for polarization lensing at 4[sigma]. This state-of-the-art technique is capable of mapping all gravitating matter in the Universe, is sensitive to the sum of neutrino masses, and is essential for cleaning the lensing B-mode signal in searches for primordial gravitational waves

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