I wrote up a little piece for the proceedings of a conference I went to over the summer. To go into self-deprecating mode, this is the sort of thing that a colleague of mine used to call a direct-to-video paper (this was in the pre-DVD era), because it doesn’t go through the same level of scrutiny as a refereed journal article.
The article has to do with how to separate a map of the polarization of the microwave background into two pieces called the E and B components. Over the coming years, maps of microwave background polarization are likely to become more and more important in putting constraints on our theories of the early Universe. A polarization map can be thought of as two maps lying on top of each other. The B map is considerably weaker than the E map, and it contains information that’s much more useful than the E map, so cleanly splitting the map into the two pieces is going to be very important in extracting science from the data. This article is an overview of some of the issues involved in this separation. It contains an extension of some work I did a while ago on finding ways to do this separation more accurately and efficiently.