The tumultous period after the original announcement that the BICEP2 experiment had supposedly detected strong evidence of cosmological inflation in the form of B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background brought a lot of excitement and speculation. It seems that now, more than half a year later, the dust is finally starting to settle (har-har-har).
In all seriousness though: There have been a lot of rumor going around about the possibility that BICEP2's signal could be purely due to dust. At my university, one of the founding fathers of inflationary theory has been publicly proclaiming that the BICEP2 experimenters are 'crap', and that the claimed discovery is 'nonsense'. With the new data release by Planck, it may be time for a new, possibly decisive, analysis of the claimed discovery. Was it real? Was it dust? Is there still room for speculation?
I'm looking for an in-depth exposition of the credibility of the BICEP2 'discovery' of B-mode polarizations, in light of the latest data (if anyone feels other data than Planck latest dataset is relevant here, feel free to discuss it!). How much, if any, faith should we still put in the claimed discovery? Can (part of) the signal be dismissed as coming from galactic dust? Have we seen inflation?