Published in Phys.Rept. 333, 245-267, (2000).
astro-ph/0002044

For a PDF version of the article, click here.

THE COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND RADIATION

Eric Gawiser 1


Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

and

Joseph Silk


Department of Physics, Astrophysics, 1 Keble Road, University of Oxford, OX1 3NP, UK
and
Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Center for Particle Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720


Abstract. We summarize the theoretical and observational status of the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. Its thermodynamic spectrum is a robust prediction of the Hot Big Bang cosmology and has been confirmed observationally. There are now 76 observations of Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropy, which we present in a table with references. We discuss the theoretical origins of these anisotropies and explain the standard jargon associated with their observation.


Table of Contents

ORIGIN OF THE COSMIC BACKGROUND RADIATION
Thermalization

CMB SPECTRUM

CMB ANISOTROPY
Small-angle anisotropy
Reionization
Secondary Anisotropies
Polarization Anisotropies
Gaussianity of the CMB anisotropies
Foreground contamination

COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND ANISOTROPY OBSERVATIONS
Window Functions
Sample and Cosmic Variance
Binning CMB data

COMBINING CMB AND LARGE-SCALE STRUCTURE OBSERVATIONS

CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES



1 current address: Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037 Back.

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