QUBIC is a cosmology project for the study of the period called inflation during which the universe has expanded very rapidly immediately after the Big Bang. This observation will be done by measuring the B-modes of the polarization of the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background). The CMB is the signal emitted 380,000 years after the Big Bang when light radiation were decoupled from the hot matter in the universe and have spread freely.
Models for this period predict that inflation would induced a polarized signal that can be described by two modes called E and B. The B-modes can only be generated by primordial gravitational waves amplified by inflation.
The discovery and the measurement of these B-modes would be the formal validation of the existence of the period of inflation and would discriminate among the scenarios currently proposed to model this period.
To measure B-modes, QUBIC will use the bolometric interferometry, an innovative and alternative technology to conventional direct imaging technologies used by all other experiences in the field. This technique allows to combine the advantages of interferometry (reduction of systematic errors) and those of the bolometer detectors (high signal sensitivity). This is a strong point of QUBIC with respect to other science projects. QUBIC will observe the sky on two frequencies (150 and 220 GHz) which will distinguish the useful signal from that of the foregrounds cosmological (dust emissions in particular).
The QUBIC project was born in 2008 from the merger of BRAIN and MBI projects. A technical demonstrator of the instrument is being manufactured and should be tested in France in 2017.
A first module should then be installed in Argentina in the region of Alto Chorrillos next to the LLAMA experience.
The QUBIC cooperation consists of the leading laboratories in the field of cosmology in France, Italy, UK, Ireland, USA, Netherlands. QUBIC is also the only European earthly experience in this scientific field
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