Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Chicago

Group Contact CV SnapShots
CMB Introduction '96   Intermediate '01   Polarization Intro '01   Cosmic Symphony '04   Polarization Primer '97   Review '02   Power Animations   Lensing   Power Prehistory   Legacy Material '96   PhD Thesis '95 Baryon Acoustic Oscillations Cosmic Shear Clusters
Transfer Function WMAP Likelihood Reionization PPF for CAMB Halo Mass Conversion Cluster Abundance
Intro to Cosmology [243] Cosmology I [legacy 321] Cosmology II [321] Current Topics [282] Galaxies and Universe [242] Radiative Processes [305] Research Preparation [307] GR Perturbation Theory [408] CMB [448] Cosmic Acceleration [449]

Brief Thermal History

Key Concepts

Let's review the basic elements of the thermal history of the CMB.

Ionization/Recombination: Going backwards in time, the CMB photons get hotter and hotter until they can ionize hydrogen.

Photon-Baryon Fluid: Thomson scattering and electromagnetic interactions glue the photons to the baryons.

Sound Waves: Radiation pressure resists any attempt to compress the fluid setting up acoustic oscillations.