cosmic microwave background anisotropy
nâhamsângardi-ye tâbeš-e rizmowj-e paszaminé-ye keyhâni
Fr.: anisotropies du rayonnement du fond cosmique microonde
Tiny fluctuations in the intensity of the → cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) as a function of angular position over the sky, first discovered in the → Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) observations. At a level of 1 part in 100,000, these temperature variations trace the distribution of matter and energy when the Universe was very young, about 380,000 years old. Since the CMB spectrum is described to a high precision by a → blackbody law with temperature T0, it is usual to express the anisotropies in terms of temperature fluctuations ΔT/T0 and expand them on the sky in → spherical harmonic series ΔT/T0 (θ,φ) = Σ almYlm(θ,φ), where θ and φ are the → spherical polar coordinates, Ylm is the spherical harmonic functions with → multipole index l, and the sum runs over l = 1, 2, ..., ∞, m = -l, ..., l, giving 2l + 1 values of m for each l, and alm is the multipole moment of the decomposition. The power spectrum of the anisotropies is defined as Cl≡ mean | alm |2 = 1/(2l + 1) Σ mean | alm |2. See also → CMB angular power spectrum.
cosmic microwave background polarization
qotbeš-e zamine-ye rizmowj-e keyhâni
Fr.: polarisation du rayonnement du fond cosmique microonde
The polarization of the → cosmic microwave background radiation due to → Thomson scattering by → free electrons during the → recombination era. The polarization can greatly enhance the precision with which the parameters associated with → acoustic oscillations are derived; because it carries directional information on the sky. When an → electromagnetic wave is incident on a free electron, the scattered wave is polarized perpendicular to the incidence direction. If the incident radiation were → isotropic or had only a → dipole variation, the scattered radiation would have no net polarization. However, if the incident radiation from perpendicular directions (separated by 90°) had different intensities, a net → linear polarization would result. Such → anisotropy is called → quadrupole because the poles of anisotropy are 360°/4 = 90° apart.
cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR)
tâbeš-e rizmowj-e paszaminé-ye keyhâni
Fr.: rayonnement du fond cosmique microonde
The diffuse → electromagnetic radiation in the → microwave band, coming from all directions in the sky, which consists of relic photons left over from the very hot, early phase of the → Big Bang. More specifically, the CMBR belong to the → recombination era, when the → Universe was about 380,000 years old and had a temperature of about 3,000 K, or a → redshift of about 1,100. The photons that last scattered at this epoch have now cooled down to a temperature of 2.73 K. They have a pure → blackbody spectrum as they were at → thermal equilibrium before → decoupling. The CMB was discovered serendipitously in 1965 by Penzias and Wilson (ApJ L 142, 419) and was immediately interpreted as a relic radiation of the Big Bang by Dicke et al. (1965, ApJL 142, 383). Such a radiation had been predicted before by Gamow (1948, Nature 162, 680) and by Alpher and Herman (1948, Nature 162, 774). This discovery was a major argument in favor of the Big Bang theory. In 1992, the satellite → Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) discovered the first anisotropies in the temperature of the CMB with an amplitude of about 30 µK. See also: → cosmic microwave background anisotropy, → dipole anisotropy, → CMB lensing, → CMB angular power spectrum, → acoustic peak, → baryon acoustic oscillation, → WMAP.