Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves? Is this attribution unique, or are there other mechanisms that could lead to the excitation of tensor modes?

In an explanation I have read recently that gravitational waves turn the E-modes into the now observed B-modes somehow, but I don't understand this. So can somebody give a more detailed explanation of this interaction of gravitational waves with the CMB?

LaTeX and equations are welcome and appreciated :-)

  • $\begingroup$ You should first of all quote the papers you are referring to. $\endgroup$ – Py-ser Mar 18 '14 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Py-ser it was mentioned somewhere in a physics blog and I am looking for papers or direct explanations (in an answer) that explain it further. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Mar 18 '14 at 6:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Then you should refer to that forum, or article, or whatever gives a context :) For the moment take a look at this preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2014/03/16/… $\endgroup$ – Py-ser Mar 18 '14 at 7:02

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