Books and Writings

 The inside story of a quest to unlock one of cosmology’s biggest mysteries, derailed by the lure of the Nobel Prize.
What would it have been like to be an eyewitness to the Big Bang? In 2014, astronomers wielding BICEP2, the most powerful cosmology telescope ever made, thought they’d glimpsed the spark that ignited the Big Bang. Millions around the world tuned in to the announcement, and Nobel whispers began to spread. But had these cosmologists truly read the cosmic prologue or, driven by ambition in pursuit of Nobel gold, had they been deceived by a galactic mirage?
In Losing the Nobel Prize, cosmologist Brian Keating―who first conceived of the BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiments―tells the inside story of BICEP2’s detection and the ensuing scientific drama. Along the way, Keating provocatively argues that the Nobel Prize actually hampers scientific progress by encouraging speed and competition while punishing inclusivity, collaboration, and bold innovation. To build on BICEP2’s efforts to reveal the cosmos’ ultimate secrets―indeed, to advance science itself―the Nobel Prize must be radically reformed.

Publications

The Oldest Cosmic Light
Nature, 518, 170–171, (2015)

Detection of B-Mode Polarization at Degree Angular Scales by BICEP2
BICEP2 Collaboration,Physical Review Letters, Volume 112, Issue 24, id.241101 (2014) (arXiv:1403.3985)

A Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background B-mode Polarization Power Spectrum at Sub-degree Scales with POLARBEAR
POLARBEAR Collaboration, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 794, Issue 2, article id. 171, 21 pp. (2014) (arXiv:1403.2369)

Evidence for Gravitational Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization from Cross-Correlation with the Cosmic Infrared Background
POLARBEAR Collaboration,
Physical Review Letters, Volume 112, Issue 13, id.131302 (2014) (arXiv:1312.6645)

Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization Lensing Power Spectrum with the POLARBEAR Experiment
POLARBEAR Collaboration, Physical Review Letters,
Volume 113, Issue 2, id.021301 (2014) (arXiv:1312.6646)

Reconstruction of Gravitational Lensing Using WMAP 7-Year Data
Feng, C., Keating, B.,
Paar H., and Zahn O., Physical Review D, vol. 85, Issue 4, id. 043513 (2012) (arXiv:
1111.2371)

Self-calibration of Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization Experiments
Keating, B.,
Shimon, M., and Yadav, A., Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 762, Iss. 2, id. L23, 4 pp.
(2013) (arXiv: 1211.5734)

Self-calibration of BICEP1 three-year data and constraints on astrophysical polarization rotation
Kaufman, J.P. et al., Physical Review D, Volume 89, Issue 6, id.062006 (2014) (arXiv:1312.7877)

Inflation physics from the cosmic microwave background and large scale structure
Abazajian,
K.N. et al., Astroparticle Physics, Volume 63, p. 55-65. (2015) (arXiv:1309.5381)

Neutrino physics from the cosmic microwave background and large scale structure
Abazajian,
K.N. et al., Astroparticle Physics, Volume 63, p. 66-80. (2015) (arXiv:1309.5383)