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What’s your Cosmology? Ask CMB Maps.

12 Jul 2017, 13:26 UTC
What’s your Cosmology? Ask CMB Maps.
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Title: Cosmological-parameter determination with Microwave Background MapsAuthors: G. Jungman, M. Kamionkowski, A. Kosowsky and D. N. SpergelFirst Author’s Institution: Dept. of Physics, Syracuse University, New York, USAStatus: Physical Review D (1996), [open access]
There are papers that talk of groundbreaking discoveries. There are papers which review the current status of the field, akin to bringing you up-to-date with what’s going on. And then there are papers that open up portals to new sub-fields, with the clarity of their message and the precision of the questions they pose. Today’s paper is one such publication, which in 1996 started an interesting journey in the world of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and Observational Cosmology.
The BeginningDiscovered for the first time in the 1970s, CMB studies have relied on measuring the temperature of this relic radiation today, which has sent photons to us from the era when the universe was essentially a plasma of matter and radiation. This era of the universe is where we can see the earliest ‘CMB photons’, a surface aptly called the surface of last scattering. Measuring its temperature gives us an idea about the energy content of the universe at that surface, which decreases as the photons travel towards ...

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