Fr.: ère de recombinaison
The era some 380,000 years after the → Big Bang (at a → redshift of about 1,100), when the Universe had cooled sufficiently so that protons and electrons combined to form → neutral hydrogen in a process called → recombination. The temperature was about 3,000 K and the ionization fraction low enough for Universe to become transparent to light. Consequently matter and radiation decouple from one another because no further → scattering of the radiation occurs. The observation of the → cosmic microwave background radiation provides a means of studying the Universe at the recombination era. Also called recombination epoch and → decoupling era.