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.