CMB angular power spectrum
binâb-e tavâni-ye zâviye-yi-e CMB
Fr.: spectre de puissance angulaire du CMB
A plot displaying the amplitude of → cosmic microwave background anisotropy as a function of angular size or → multipole index. Same as → angular fluctuation spectrum. The plot, based the on WMAP and other data, shows a plateau at large angular or length scales (→ Sachs-Wolfe plateau), then a series of peaks at progressively smaller scales. These features arise from the gravity-driven acoustic oscillations of the coupled photon-baryon fluid in the early Universe (→ baryon acoustic oscillation). In particular, a strong peak is seen on an angular scale (at l ~220), corresponding to the physical length of the → sound horizon at the → recombination era. It depends on the curvature of space. If space is positively curved, then this sound horizon scale will appear larger on the sky than in a flat Universe (the first peak will move to the left). The second peak (l ~ 550), which is the first harmonic of the main peak, relates to the baryon/photon ratio. The third peak can be used to help constrain the total matter density.