Exploration of Sound Waves in the CMB
A more in depth on line tour of CMB physics.
We have not covered here the recent developments on the experimental
side in any quantitative detail. A quick summary for those familiar
with microwave background literature can be found here:
CMB experiments and data
and a description of the process of analyzing experiments can be found at Max Tegmark's site.
We have described how the microwave background can tell us about the
origins and fate of the universe. Further details on cosmological
parameters that can be extracted from the CMB can be found in
Cosmological parameters in the CMB spectrum
and is aimed at those familiar with the literature.
The microwave background carries information not only in its
temperature fluctuations but also in its polarization. Polarization
detection represents a much greater experimental challenge but with
a potential pay off of cosmological information that cannot be
extracted from the temperature spectrum. For those familiar
with temperature anisotropies, the following is a pedagogical
introduction to polarization:
The promise of polarization
At an advanced level, the following
pages give a detailed description of how microwave background anisotropies
are calculated and interpreted:
Total Angular Momentum Method
For researchers in the field, my papers on the microwave background
are all available on this Web site:
A great wealth of material on the microwave background is available
on the Web. Here is a short list of links to other potentially
Interesting related sites
I would like to thank A. Vatanatumrak for help in designing the graphics on these pages and E. Bunn for supplying the COBE and earth maps.