EBEX is a balloon-borne polarimeter designed to measure the intensity and polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The measurements would probe the inflationary epoch that took place shortly after the big bang and would significantly improve constraints on the values of several cosmological parameters.
EBEX is unique in its broad frequency coverage and in its ability to provide critical information about the level of polarized Galactic foregrounds which will be necessary for all future CMB polarization experiments.
EBEX consists of a 1.5 m Dragone-type telescope that provides a resolution of less than 8 arcminutes over four focal planes each of 4 degree diffraction limited field of view at frequencies up to 450 GHz. The experiment is designed to accommodate 330 transition edge bolometric detectors per focal plane, for a total of up to 1320 detectors. EBEX will operate with frequency bands centered at 150, 250, 350, and 450 GHz. Polarimetry is achieved with a rotating
achromatic half-wave plate. EBEX is currently in the design and construction phase, and first light is scheduled for 2008.