• In the workshop, project CMB-Bharat, which could help us listen to the faintest murmurs of the early universe, was discussed.
  • CMB expands into Cosmic Microwave Background, and the scientific space project CMB-Bharat has been presented as a proposal to ISRO and is being considered by it.
  • This was one highlight of the workshop that also saw discussions on the X-ray telescope eROSITA which is to be launched in June 2019.

CMB-Bharat

  • Dr. Souradeep, who is the lead proposer of CMB-Bharat, outlined the scope and plan of the project thus: “CMB-Bharat is a proposal for comprehensive next generation Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) mission in international collaboration with major Indian contribution.
  • It proposes ‘near-ultimate’ survey polarisation that would exhaust the primordial information in this ‘gold-mine’ for cosmology.”
  • The scientific promise of the project was threefold.
  • The “ultrahigh goal” according to him was that the project would reveal the first clear signature of quantum gravity and ultrahigh energy physics in the very early universe.
  • He clarified that this referred to quantum gravitational waves, which are different from what LIGO detectors had observed that were classical in nature.
  • The “high” goals lay in neutrino physics where we could discover more about the neutrino species, their total mass and mass hierarchy; map all dark matter and most baryons in the observable universe.
  • The problem of knowing the hierarchy of masses of the different species of neutrino is a very deep one and being hotly pursued by many countries.
  • The “legacy” he said, was to improve probe of the cosmological model by a factor of over 10 million, and to generate rich galactic and extragalactic astrophysics datasets.
  • There are no active proposals for a comprehensive next generation CMB space mission at this time.
  • CMB-Bharat mission presents an unique opportunity for India to take the lead on prized quests in fundamental science in a field that has proved to be a spectacular success, while simultaneously gaining valuable expertise in cutting-edge technology for space capability through global cooperation.