The discrepancy between the Hubble parameter inferred from local measurements and that from the cosmic microwave background (CMB) has motivated careful scrutiny of the assumptions that enter both analyses. Here we point out that the location of the recombination peak in the CMB B-mode power spectrum is determined by the light horizon at the surface of last scatter and thus provides an alternative early-Universe standard ruler. It can thus be used as a cross-check for the standard ruler inferred from the acoustic peaks in the CMB temperature power spectrum and to test various explanations for the Hubble tension. The measurement can potentially be carried out with a precision of 2% with stage-IV B-mode experiments. The measurement can also be used to measure the propagation speed of gravitational waves in the early Universe.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)