B-mode polarization is a polarization signal in the cosmic microwave background radiation. The polarization is due to gravitational attraction on the microwave photons. Astronomers predict two types of B-modes, the first from the big bang around 13.8 billion years ago, and the second type generated during cosmic inflation shortly after the big bang.
B-modes were discovered using National Science Foundation's South Pole Telescope with help from the Herschel Space Observatory. This discovery may help test theories on the origin of the universe. Scientists are using data from Planck mission to gauge better understanding of these waves. The Planck mission is a European Space Agency mission in collaboration with NASA JPL where scientists work together to analyze the data.
- ESA Planck (Oct 22, 2013). "Planck Space Mission". Retrieved Oct 23, 2013.
- NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2013, October 22). "Long-sought pattern of ancient light detected". ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- Hanson, D.; et al (Sep 30, 2013). "Detection of B-Mode Polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background with Data from the South Pole Telescope". Physical Review Letters. 14 111. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.141301.