The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band which can be observed throughout the whole universe, not connected to any astronomical object. Its spectrum follows a very precise black-body radiation with a temperature of about 2.7 K.

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Why is the graph of CMB/black-body radiation asymptotic?

Speaking of this graph of blackbody radiation, I see that the graph goes to 0 asymptotically: As we go to higher and higher frequencies, the energy of a single photon becomes increasingly high. ...
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What experiments compete with BICEP 2, and when are their results expected?

The recent results of the BICEP 2 experiment published on March 17th 2014, has generated a lot of media attention, with the general consensus being that "this is a major discovery" perhaps leading to ...
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Where does CMB come/emit from?

Where exactly does CMB come from. I've seen it in documentaries as a huge sphere with Earth in the middle. But if all this radiation was ejected from the start of the universe some time after the big ...
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A physical understanding of the 2/3 in the Sachs-Wolfe effect

I am trying to develop an intuitive but quantitative understanding of the factor of 2/3 in the Sachs-Wolfe effect. I believe I have a picture that makes sense but it relies on one assumption I don't ...
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How can interstellar space have a temperature of 2-3K?

Several different sources online state that the average temperature of interstellar space (or the universe in general) is around 2-3K. I learned that temperature is basically the wiggling of matter, ...
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What did recombination look like?

I recently remembered that someone worked out what the big bang sounded like and that got me thinking... About 377,000 years after the Big Bang, electrons became bound to nuclei to form neutral ...
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How is CMB related to the temperature of the universe

As I understand it, CMB (cosmic microwave background) is the radiation emitted when matter decoupled at the early stages of the big bang. The thing I don't understand is do all stars emit this kind of ...
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When the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation cools, where does the energy go?

I understand how photons can change wavelength via gravitational redshifting, but that doesn't seem to be what's going on with the CMB radiation. I've heard it explained as happening because of the ...
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Where does the light of the Big Bang come from?

I'm wondering whether the residual light of the Big Bang comes from one particular direction and what possibilities do we have to detect its position?
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What trajectory has the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation taken to get to earth?

I have a few related questions: Where is the CMB coming (emitted/reflected/remitted) from? When CMB hits the earth, is that the first thing those photons hit since they were emitted 400 thousand ...
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Will the CMB ever stop shining?

Will we ever reach a point where all the light that was set free by recombination finally reaches us from our point of view and the CMB stops "shining" for observers on Earth?
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Seeing beyond the CMBR with neutrinos?

As I understand it, you can't see beyond the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation because the plasma of the early universe was opaque to electromagnetic radiation. What if you had a "neutrino ...
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Redshift of Cosmic Microwave Background

Does the cosmic microwave background radiation have a red shift parameter z? If so what is the value for z?
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Peaks and dips position in the Planck CMB

I am currently looking for the values of the firsts peaks and dips (at least the first 3) in terms of l and angular size for the CMB angular power spectrum measured from Planck. But the only thing I ...
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$\Delta^+$ decay in GZK process

The dominant channels in the GZK process are $$p+\gamma_{\rm CMB}\to\Delta^+\to p+\pi^0,$$ $$p+\gamma_{\rm CMB}\to\Delta^+\to n+\pi^+.$$ According to the pdg, $\Delta\to N+\pi$ makes up essentially ...
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Do oceans produce the cosmic microwave background?

A guy who has a career in medical physics named Pierre-Marie Robitaille argues in two recently published papers in “Progress in Physics”, that the CMB is not from the big bang but from the oceans. ...
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When was the cosmic background radiation in the visible spectrum?

From what I understand about the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is that it was from the big bang, and since space has streched and become bigger since then the wavelength of the CMBR has ...
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Redshift 1+z - CMB Temperature lower?

I know that $\frac{\lambda_2}{\lambda_1} = 1 + z$ Suppose a galaxy had redshfit $z=3$. Does this mean that the wavelength becomes $4\lambda$? Then by wien's law where $\lambda \propto \frac{1}{T}$, ...
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What was the major discovery on gravitational waves made March 17th, 2014, in the BICEP2 experiment?

The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics held a press conference today to announce a major discovery relating to gravitational waves. What was their announcement, and what are the implications? ...
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Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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Is the number of wavelengths of light spanning a distance invariant with respect to spacetime distortion?

I was recently asked by a friend how the expansion of spacetime affects photons. I gave him what I feel is a satisfactory general response, but it got me wondering how, exactly to calculate this ...
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Spectrum of CMB vs. duration of last scattering

The epoch of last scattering took over 100,000 years. The Visibility Function has maximum at about 370,000 years after the Big Bang when the temperature was about 5,600 K. 50,000 years earlier the ...
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The initial conditions of the CMB spectrum

The CMB spectrum shows the intensity of fluctuation at a certain angular scale: The achievement is the correspondence between the predicted power spectrum and the observed one. My question is as ...
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Frequency of cosmic microwave background

Some people refer to cosmic microwave background's (CMB) frame of reference as an absolute one. If I understand correctly, we can measure 'absolute' velocity in this frame by using the Doppler effect. ...
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Plotting the CMB power spectrum - Why $C_\ell \ell (\ell+1)$ rather than only $C_\ell$?

I can't find any convincing answer for the following question : Why do we always (or often) plot the CMB power spectrum in this way? I mean the y axis is $C_\ell \ell (\ell+1)$ and not only ...
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What do the names “E mode” and “B mode” mean? Where do they come from?

This has been bugging me a bit since the BICEP announcement, but if there are any resources that answer my question in a simple way, they've been buried in a slew of over-technical or over-popularized ...
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What is the cosmic “Axis of Evil” problem?

What is the cosmic "axis of evil" problem? Apparently it is a more modern version of the old cluster mass discrepancy problem, where masses determined by gravitational lensing are always higher than ...
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Why are no CMB experiments able to measure the whole range of multipole moments?

Have a look at the following diagram: This shows measurements of the CMB by various experiments, with multipole moment $l$ on the x-axis and the temperature of the corresponding moment on the ...
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How/why can the cosmic background radiation measurements tell us anything about the curvature of the universe?

So I've read the Wikipedia articles on WMAP and CMB in an attempt to try to understand how scientists are able to deduce the curvature of the universe from the measurements of the CMB. The Wiki ...
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How did WMAP measure the flatness of space? [duplicate]

I read that WMAP constrained $\Omega_0$ to be $1$ within $1%$. I realize that the baryon acoustic oscillations will produce a preferred scale on the CMB. Knowing $H_0$ one could measure the angle of ...
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Do COBE, WMAP, or Planck data show time-variance of the CMB's anisotropies? [duplicate]

What limits on the time-variance of the CMB do the COBE, WMAP, or Planck data put? In other words, I am looking for a peer-reviewed paper that would answer this question: If I made maps of, say, WMAP ...
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Do COBE, WMAP, and Plack have design flaws? [duplicate]

MRI expert Pierre-Marie Robitaille on the design flaws of COBE, WMAP, & Planck and the violation Kirchhoff's Law: Here are his talks: Pierre-Marie Robitaille: The Cosmic Microwave Background ...
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84 views

The gravity waves from the big bang? How can we know?

The latest news says that scientists detected gravitational waves from the Big Bang. My question is how do they know the waves originated in the big bang verses any number of supernovae and or ...
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Assuming that the Cosmological Principle is correct, does this imply that the universe possess an empirically privileged reference frame?

OK...before everyone blasts this with references to the relativistic invariance of the physical laws, time dilation, etc let me add some context. Also, I am an amateur with an interest in physics, so ...
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What Did Nobelaureate Smoot Mean by “Modern Efforts to Find Violations of Special Relativity”

In George Smoot's 2006 Nobel Lecture, having won the Nobel prize for his research on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), he refers to the possibility of the CMB being a special frame stating ...
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How the CMB anisotropy is linked to the existence of cold dark matter and dark energy?

After the data from the cosmic microwave background has been collected by WMAP or Planck, what types of analysis is needed to conduct in order to deduce the cold dark matter density and the ...
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68 views

Is cosmic background radiation absolute [duplicate]

Now that we don't have permeating Ether anymore, why don't we consider the omnipresent Cosmic background radiation in place of it? and measure Speeds with respect to the CMBR? In that way an object ...
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What's the total Cosmic Microwave Background energy?

This is a part of my wider attempts at accounting matter in the observable universe. The total light ever emitted by stars and other space objects is capped around 1% of baryonic mass (in energy ...
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Correlation between large-scale galaxy structure and CMB fluctuations?

During a relatively non-technical astronomy seminar the other day, the speaker displayed the famous WMAP full-sky image as an aid to describing what the CMB is, the scale of its fluctuations, etc. ...
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CMB curly B-modes and dark matter

I raised a question a while ago regarding weak gravitational lensing of galaxies and the CMB. With all the fuzz with the BICEP2 data, I think it is time to raise even more questions about this amazing ...
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How can we detect cosmic background radiation?

From what I understand, CMB is the left over radiation from the Big Bang. As all matter, including the Earth, was made during the Big Bang and then as the universe expanded that matter/energy got ...
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How does the Cosmic Microwave Background give us information about the Big Bang?

I was reading about CMB after this new breakthrough last week and I could not figure this out. The CMB did not exist before the epoch of Last Scattering. They were just photons which were formed at ...
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Immediately after the Big Bang, was the universe in a state of extremely low or extremely high entropy?

Phase space theory suggests that the largest course-graining region, $p$, in a phase space, $P$, is the point in the phase space with the highest entropy. As such, it is in thermal equilibrium with ...
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What are the implications of the possibility that the BICEP2 results are caused by a self ordering scalar field transition?

I've found this interesting paper that mentions another possible way to interpret the recent BICEP2 results, and that hadn't been ruled out yet 1. As interesting as the possibility that the BICEP2 ...
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Temperature in space

Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy transferred to particles, henceforth, space being vacuum, temperature cannot be measured. But then, there is cosmic background radiation. It is the leftover ...
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BICEP2 experiments

How was the polarization experimentally measured in the BICEP2 experiments and why did they look specifically at B-modes? Why is it implying the existence of gravitational waves and the need to ...
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168 views

What's the $\ell$ in the Bicep2 paper mean?

The BICEP experiment's recent announcement included the preprint of their paper, BICEP2 I: Detection of $B$-mode polarization at degree angular scales. BICEP2 Collaboration. To be submitted. ...
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Relation between multipole moment and angular scale of CMB

What is the relation between multipole moment $l$ and angular scale $\theta$ of the Cosmic Microwave Background? Somewhere on the web I found that $\theta\propto\frac{180^{\circ}}{l}$ but I need exact ...
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What do the BICEP2 results mean for string gas cosmology and the ekpyrotic universe?

The imprint of gravitational waves created shortly after the big bang may offer direct evidence for inflation theory, according to a discovery by the BICEP2 experiment at the South Pole and released ...
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What does BICEP2's results tell us about gravitation waves and quantum gravity?

The BICEP2 results, unless I am mistaken, are a measurement of CMB polarization, i.e. photon polarization. That is, taken at face value they say nothing about gravity directly. Now, we can start to ...