The polarization signature of local bulk flows

Elinore Roebber, Gilbert Holder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large peculiar velocity of the intergalactic medium produces a Doppler shift of the cosmic microwave background with a frequency-dependent quadrupole term. This quadrupole will act as a source for polarization of the cosmic microwave background, creating a large-scale polarization anisotropy if the bulk flow is local and coherent on large scales. In the case where we are near the center of the moving region, the polarization signal is a pure quadrupole. We show that the signal is small, but detectable with future experiments for bulk flows as large as some recent reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number98
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • cosmic background radiation - large-scale structure of universe - polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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