Catching the Waves of Inflation

In this project, I explore evidence for inflation using Primordial Gravitational Waves and the Cosmic Microwave Background.
Hassan Kurwa
Grade 8


How can we use the Cosmic Microwave Background to provide evidence for Primordial Gravitational Waves?


The Method that I will use to complete this research project will be weekly meetings with Jamil A. Shariff, who specializes in, and works on many projects to do with the project that I am working on such as SPIDER. I will do research on specific questions to do with my inquiry question and that will help me to see if my hypothesis was correct or not. 


All of my research can be found in a logbook that I keep, but I have sumamrized all of it into a slideshow that is attached.


All of my data and research can be found in my logbook, which I have uploaded in the attachments section


In Conclusion, the validity of the hypothesis presented is unknown, but theoretically the method should work, and currently, Scientists have a similar hypothesis. However, until there is concrete evidence on weather Primordial Gravitational Waves exist or not, this hypothesis can neither be confirmed nor disproved. Scientists are using progressively more accurate methods in order to identify if the CMB is polarized by Primordial Gravitational Waves.




BICEP2 visuals. (n.d.). The BICEP and Keck Array CMB Experiments.

Chu, J. (2020, December 9). A technique to sift out the universe’s first gravitational waves. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

CMB polarization. (n.d.). |.

De Bernardis, P., & Masi, S. (2012). The cosmic microwave background: Observing directly the early universe. Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 23.

Density wave model | COSMOS. (n.d.).

ESA science & technology - What are baryonic acoustic oscillations? (n.d.). ESA Science & Technology - Science & Technology.

Gravitational Lensing. (2019, 30).

Howell, E. (2018, August 24). Cosmic microwave background: Remnant of the Big Bang.

Hu, W. (n.d.). Electric and Magnetic Modes. Wayne Hu's Tutorials.

Hu, W., & White, M. (2004). The cosmic symphony. Scientific American, 290(2), 44-53.

Keating, B. (2018). Losing the Nobel prize: A story of cosmology, ambition, and the perils of science's highest honor. W. W. Norton & Company.

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. (2014, March 3). The beginning of everything -- The Big Bang [Video]. YouTube.

Moskowitz, C. (2014, March 17). Gravity waves from Big Bang detected. Scientific American.

Nave, R. (n.d.). Classification of polarization.

Observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum. (n.d.).

Polarization of light, linear and circular (video). (n.d.). Khan Academy.

Sample size calculator. (n.d.). Free Online Calculators - Math, Fitness, Finance, Science.

Tristram, M., Banday, A., Gorski, K., Keskitalo, R., Lawrence, C., Andersen, K., Barreiro, R., Borrill, J., Eriksen, H., Fernandez-Cobos, R., Kisner, T., Martinez-Gonzalez, E., Partridge, B., Scott, D., Svalheim, T., Thommesen, H., & Wehus, I. (2020). Planck constraints on the tensor-to-scalar ratio. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 19.

WMAP Big Bang CMB test. (2016, May 9). Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).

WMAP CMB fluctuations. (2014, August 20). Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).


I would like to acknowledge Jamil A. Shariff, PhD, Astrophysicist, Member of Technical Staff in Systems Design at MDA for assisting me with this project.