The E and B Experiment (EBEX), a balloon-borne polarization sensitive microwave telescope, will map the cosmic microwave background (CMB) over a 420 square degree patch of sky with 8' resolution. The observing area and resolution provide sensitivity to an angular power spectrum from l = 20 to 1500. This will allow EBEX to observe the primordial B-mode signal predicted by inflation on a scale of about l = 100 and the anticipated lensing B-mode signal at smaller angular scales. Simulations show that EBEX will detect the primordial B-mode signal if the tensor to scalar ratio, r, is 0.1, or it will reduce the current upper limit to 0.02. This limit assumes that errors due to foreground subtraction are below detector noise, and it does not include systematic uncertainties.
During the EBEX ~ 14-day Antarctic long duration science flight the instrument will observe with 1432 transition edge sensor (TES) bolometric detectors in three frequency bands centered at 150, 250, and 410 GHz. This broad frequency coverage will provide valuable information about foreground emission from thermal dust. The polarimetry and signal modulation are achieved using an achromatic half wave plate (HWP) rotating on a superconducting magnetic bearing and a fixed wire grid polarizer.
In this thesis we discuss the EBEX science goals, instrument design, integration, and characterization. We provide an overview of the June, 2009, engineering flight from Ft. Sumner, NM, and a summary of the results from the flight. Additionally, we provide a detailed analysis of scan synchronous temperature signals in the warm optics and a preliminary analysis of bolometer data taken during galactic crossings in the engineering flight.