Future detectability of gravitational-wave induced lensing from high-sensitivity CMB experiments

Research paper by Toshiya Namikawa, Daisuke Yamauchi, Atsushi Taruya

Indexed on: 03 Mar '15Published on: 03 Mar '15Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics


We discuss the future detectability of gravitational-wave induced lensing from high-sensitivity cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments. Gravitational waves can induce a rotational component of the weak-lensing deflection angle, usually referred to as the curl mode, which would be imprinted on the CMB maps. Using the technique of reconstructing lensing signals involved in CMB maps, this curl mode can be measured in an unbiased manner, offering an independent confirmation of the gravitational waves complementary to the B-mode polarization experiments. Based on the Fisher matrix analysis, we first show that with the noise levels necessary to confirm the consistency relation for the primordial gravitational waves, the future CMB experiments will be able to detect the gravitational-wave induced lensing signals. For a tensor-to-scalar ratio of $r < 0.1$, even if the consistency relation is difficult to confirm with a high significance, the gravitational-wave induced lensing would be detected at more than $3\,\sigma$ significance level. Further, we point out that high-sensitivity experiments will be also powerful to constrain the gravitational waves generated after the recombination epoch. Compared to the B-mode polarization, the curl mode is particularly sensitive to gravitational waves generated at low redshifts ($z < 10$) with a low frequency ($k < 10^{-3}$ Mpc$^{-1}$), and it could give a much tighter constraint on their energy density $\Omega_{\rm GW}$ by more than three orders of magnitude.