One of the main goals of modern observational cosmology is to constrain or detect a stochastic background of primordial gravitational waves. Realizing this goal will rely on highly accurate measurements of the B-mode signature in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). I will give a brief overview of a particular dedicated B-mode experiment: the balloon-borne SPIDER instrument. Next, I will demonstrate how B-mode searches are biased by poorly understood optical properties. I will discuss methods to model these systematics efficiently. I will then explain how, in principle, upcoming B-mode data will allow us to probe relatively unexplored assumptions about the early universe. I will show how to adapt existing bispectrum estimators to extract this information.
Salads, sandwiches, and wraps are catered by D'Angelo Italian Market.
Bottled water will be provided.
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