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After Acoustic Peaks: What’s Next in CMB?

By Asantha Cooray


Abstract. The advent of high signal-to-noise cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy experiments has allowed detailed studies on the power spectrum of temperature fluctuations. The existence of acoustic oscillations in the anisotropy power spectrum is now established with the detection of the first two, and possibly the third, peaks. Beyond the acoustic peak structure, we consider cosmological and astrophysical information that can be extracted by pushing anisotropy observations to fine angular scales with higher resolution instruments. At small scales, a variety of contributions allow the use of CMB photons as a probe of the large scale structure: we outline possible studies related to understanding detailed physical properties such as the distribution of dark matter, baryons and pressure, and ways to measure the peculiar, transverse and rotational velocities of virialized halos such as galaxy clusters. Beyond the temperature, we consider several useful aspects of the CMB polarization and comment on an ultimate goal for future CMB experiments involving the direct detection of inflationary gravity-waves through their distinct signature in the curl-type polarization. CMB: AT PRESENT The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is now a well known probe of the earl

Year: 2002
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