Abstract:
We review the basic hypotheses which motivate the statistical framework used to analyze the cosmic microwave background, and how that framework can be enlarged as we relax those hypotheses. In particular, we try to separate as much as possible the questions of gaussianity, homogeneity, and isotropy from each other. We focus both on isotropic estimators of nongaussianity as well as statistically anisotropic estimators of gaussianity, giving particular emphasis on their signatures and the enhanced “cosmic variances” that become increasingly important as our putative Universe becomes less symmetric. After reviewing the formalism behind some simple model-independent tests, we discuss how these tests can be applied to CMB data when searching for large-scale “anomalies”.

Abstract:
Gaussianity and statistical isotropy of the Universe are modern cosmology's minimal set of hypotheses. In this work we introduce a new statistical test to detect observational deviations from this minimal set. By defining the temperature correlation function over the whole celestial sphere, we are able to independently quantify both angular and planar dependence (modulations) of the CMB temperature power spectrum over different slices of this sphere. Given that planar dependence leads to further modulations of the usual angular power spectrum $C_l$, this test can potentially reveal richer structures in the morphology of the primordial temperature field. We have also constructed an unbiased estimator for this angular-planar power spectrum which naturally generalizes the estimator for the usual $C_l$'s. With the help of a chi-square analysis, we have used this estimator to search for observational deviations of statistical isotropy in WMAP's 5 year release data set (ILC5), where we found only slight anomalies on the angular scales $l=7$ and $l=8$. Since this angular-planar statistic is model-independent, it is ideal to employ in searches of statistical anisotropy (e.g., contaminations from the galactic plane) and to characterize non-Gaussianities.

Abstract:
The effect of the scalar spectral index on inflationary super-Hubble waves is to amplify/damp large wavelengths according to whether the spectrum is red ($n_{s}<1$) or blue ($n_{s}>1$). As a consequence, the large-scale temperature correlation function will unavoidably change sign at some angle if our spectrum is red, while it will always be positive if it is blue. We show that this inflationary filtering property also affects our estimates of the size of the homogeneous patch of the universe through the Grishchuk-Zel'dovich effect. Using the recent quadrupole measurement of ESA's Planck mission, we find that the homogeneous patch of universe is at least 87 times bigger than our visible universe if we accept Planck's best fit value $n_{s}=0.9624$. An independent estimation of the size of the universe could be used to independently constrain $n_{s}$, thus narrowing the space of inflationary models.

Abstract:
New recycling alternative for multilayer films was successfully presented. Food packaging formed from different materials is difficult to recycle. The use of aluminum, glass, paper, paints, varnishes, and other materials in the rolling processes from plastic packaging is intended to optimize the efficiency of packaging. Nevertheless, these materials prevent the recycling of packaging because they become contaminants to the recycling process. Food multilayered packaging containing poly (ethylene terephthalate) PET, poly (ethylene) PE and aluminum was used as filler in the preparation of composites with post-consumer high density polyethylene matrix. Composites containing up to 50 wt% of filler were feasible to prepare, allowing the obtention of a material with varied mechanical and thermal properties. This feature allows the preparation of composites suitable for specific application. The addition of multilayer matter in the polyethylene matrix provided a material with excellent mechanical properties such as higher tensile impact strength (148 J/m) and elasticity (350 MPa) as compared to pure polyethylene (40 J/m and 450 MPa).

Abstract:
This article describes the theory of cosmological perturbations around a homogeneous and anisotropic universe of the Bianchi I type. Starting from a general parameterisation of the perturbed spacetime a la Bardeen, a complete set of gauge invariant variables is constructed. Three physical degrees of freedom are identified and it is shown that, in the case where matter is described by a scalar field, they generalize the Mukhanov-Sasaki variables. In order to show that they are canonical variables, the action for the cosmological perturbations at second order is derived. Two major physical imprints of the primordial anisotropy are identified: (1) a scalar-tensor ``see-saw'' mechanism arising from the fact that scalar, vector and tensor modes do not decouple and (2) an explicit dependence of the statistical properties of the density perturbations and gravity waves on the wave-vector instead of its norm. This analysis extends, but also sheds some light on, the quantization procedure that was developed under the assumption of a Friedmann-Lemaitre background spacetime, and allows to investigate the robustness of the predictions of the standard inflationary scenario with respect to the hypothesis on the symmetries of the background spacetime. These effects of a primordial anisotropy may be related to some anomalies of the cosmic microwave background anisotropies on large angular scales.

Abstract:
This article investigates the predictions of an inflationary phase starting from a homogeneous and anisotropic universe of the Bianchi I type. After discussing the evolution of the background spacetime, focusing on the number of e-folds and the isotropization, we solve the perturbation equations and predict the power spectra of the curvature perturbations and gravity waves at the end of inflation. The main features of the early anisotropic phase is (1) a dependence of the spectra on the direction of the modes, (2) a coupling between curvature perturbations and gravity waves, and (3) the fact that the two gravity waves polarisations do not share the same spectrum on large scales. All these effects are significant only on large scales and die out on small scales where isotropy is recovered. They depend on a characteristic scale that can, but a priori must not, be tuned to some observable scale. To fix the initial conditions, we propose a procedure that generalises the one standardly used in inflation but that takes into account the fact that the WKB regime is violated at early times when the shear dominates. We stress that there exist modes that do not satisfy the WKB condition during the shear-dominated regime and for which the amplitude at the end of inflation depends on unknown initial conditions. On such scales, inflation loses its predictability. This study paves the way to the determination of the cosmological signature of a primordial shear, whatever the Bianchi I spacetime. It thus stresses the importance of the WKB regime to draw inflationary predictions and demonstrates that when the number of e-folds is large enough, the predictions converge toward those of inflation in a Friedmann-Lemaitre spacetime but that they are less robust in the case of an inflationary era with a small number of e-folds.

Abstract:
This article derives a multipolar hierarchy for the propagation of the weak-lensing shear and convergence in a general spacetime. The origin of B-modes, in particular on large angular scales, is related to the local isotropy of space. Known results assuming a Friedmann-Lema\^itre background are naturally recovered. The example of a Bianchi I spacetime illustrates our formalism and its implications for future observations are stressed.

Abstract:
In this work, the linear and gauge-invariant theory of cosmological perturbations in a class of anisotropic and shear-free spacetimes is developed. After constructing an explicit set of complete eigenfunctions in terms of which perturbations can be expanded, we identify the effective degrees of freedom during a generic slow-roll inflationary phase. These correspond to the anisotropic equivalent of the standard Mukhanov-Sasaki variables. The associated equations of motion present a remarkable resemblance to those found in perturbed Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetimes with curvature, apart from the spectrum of the Laplacian, which exhibits the characteristic frequencies of the underlying geometry. In particular, it is found that the perturbations cannot develop arbitrarily large super-Hubble modes.

Abstract:
The largest fluctuation in the observed CMB temperature field is the dipole, its origin being usually attributed to the Doppler Effect - the Earth's velocity with respect to the CMB rest frame. The lowest order boost correction to temperature multipolar coefficients appears only as a second order correction in the temperature power spectrum, $C_{\ell}$. Since v/c - 10-3, this effect can be safely ignored when estimating cosmological parameters [4-7]. However, by cutting our galaxy from the CMB sky we induce large-angle anisotropies in the data. In this case, the corrections to the cut-sky $C_{\ell}$s show up already at first order in the boost parameter. In this paper we investigate this issue and argue that this effect might turn out to be important when reconstructing the power spectrum from the cut-sky data.

Abstract:
We search for planar deviations of statistical isotropy in the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) data by applying a recently introduced angular-planar statistics both to full-sky and to masked temperature maps, including in our analysis the effect of the residual foreground contamination and systematics in the foreground removing process as sources of error. We confirm earlier findings that full-sky maps exhibit anomalies at the planar ($l$) and angular ($\ell$) scales $(l,\ell)=(2,5),(4,7),$ and $(6,8)$, which seem to be due to unremoved foregrounds since this features are present in the full-sky map but not in the masked maps. On the other hand, our test detects slightly anomalous results at the scales $(l,\ell)=(10,8)$ and $(2,9)$ in the masked maps but not in the full-sky one, indicating that the foreground cleaning procedure (used to generate the full-sky map) could not only be creating false anomalies but also hiding existing ones. We also find a significant trace of an anomaly in the full-sky map at the scale $(l,\ell)=(10,5)$, which is still present when we consider galactic cuts of 18.3% and 28.4%. As regards the quadrupole ($\ell=2$), we find a coherent over-modulation over the whole celestial sphere, for all full-sky and cut-sky maps. Overall, our results seem to indicate that current CMB maps derived from WMAP data do not show significant signs of anisotropies, as measured by our angular-planar estimator. However, we have detected a curious coherence of planar modulations at angular scales of the order of the galaxy's plane, which may be an indication of residual contaminations in the full- and cut-sky maps.