Detecting Patchy Reionization in the Cosmic Microwave Background
AbstractUpcoming cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments will measure temperature fluctuations on small angular scales with unprecedented precision. Small-scale CMB fluctuations are a mixture of late-time effects: gravitational lensing, Doppler shifting of CMB photons by moving electrons [the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (KSZ) effect], and residual foregrounds. We propose a new statistic which separates the KSZ signal from the others, and also allows the KSZ signal to be decomposed in redshift bins. The decomposition extends to high redshift and does not require external data sets such as galaxy surveys. In particular, the high-redshift signal from patchy reionization can be cleanly isolated, enabling future CMB experiments to make high-significance and qualitatively new measurements of the reionization era.