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.