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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Is the CMB rest frame special? Where does it come from?

It seems that we are moving relative to the universe at the speed of ~ 600 km/s. This is the speed of our galaxy relative to the cosmic microwave background. Where does this rest frame come from? Is ...
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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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Why can we see the cosmic microwave background (CMB)?

I understand that we can never see much farther than the farthest galaxies we have observed. This is because, before the first galaxies formed, the universe was opaque--it was a soup of subatomic ...
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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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508 views

Strange modulation of radioactive decay rates with solar activity

Recently I found out this strange article about nuclear decay rates somehow showing seasonal variations with a high correlation with sun activity. Has this been experimentally confirmed/disproved? ...
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340 views

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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How fast is the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) changing?

I know that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is the leftover radiation from the "surface of last scattering". However, at every instant the surface is changing (at the rate of flow ...
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421 views

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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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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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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Big Bang and Cosmic microwave background radiation?

One of the experimental evidence that supports the theory of big bang is cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR). From what I've read is that CMBR is the left over radiation from an early stage ...
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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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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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Effect of expansion of space on CMB

Is it true that the expansion of space time cause the CMB to become microwaves from a shorter wavelength. If it is has the amplitude been increased? Seeing as the amplitude has decreased; why hasn't ...
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449 views

Number density of CMB photons?

When we talk about the present-day number density of photons ($n_\gamma\approx 10^8 $ $m^{-3}$) in the universe do we mean the number density of CMB photons? I mean there are other sources of photons, ...
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209 views

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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216 views

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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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 is radiation density in the Planck 2013 results?

I've been looking at the Planck 2013 cosmological parameters paper, trying to update my toy cosmology simulator with the most recent data. Most of the interesting values such as $H_0$, $\Omega_m$, ...
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200 views

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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110 views

Do we really need inflation for horizon problem?

This is a very fundamental doubt. I think i am missing something in inflation. The inflation theory solves the horizon problem by stating all of the universe started from a very small region in ...
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What exactly is meant by the “Gaussianity” of CMBR?

What does it mean when we say that the CMBR is mostly gaussian? What are non-gaussianities in CMBR? How does evaluation of 3-point correlation functions of the inflaton field tells us that there is ...
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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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$\Delta^+$ 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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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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What is meant by the temperature of the CMB?

This is what I commonly read: The CMB came to existence when atoms where formed and photons weren't constantly absorbed anymore. In other words, the universe became "transparent". Because of the ...
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The status of the BICEP2 'discovery' after Planck 2014

The tumultous period after the original announcement that the BICEP2 experiment had supposedly detected strong evidence of cosmological inflation in the form of B-mode polarization in the cosmic ...
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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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352 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
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Feedback on the paper, 'CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM' by V. G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose [closed]

Ref: CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM To all cosmology / theoretical physics / related or similar researchers and academics, Are there some updates concerning the issue of ...
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256 views

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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thermodynamics of a dual-face surface in space

This question is a continuation from this one. A material disk have two sides, one that is reflective and another absorptive of electromagnetic radiation in the range where the background cosmic ...
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How do quantum fluctuations lead to overdense regions in the CMB?

I've read a lot of work about Inflation but yet to find a cogent description where someone explains exactly what 'quantum fluctuations' are and how they led to overdense regions in the CMB. I get the ...
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Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and its relation to Inertial Frames

We know that the CMB is isotropic when viewed outside of the spinning and revolving earth. Is it homogeneous? Can we relate the CMB to an inertial frame in the Newtonian sense (in which space and ...
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Which gets you first when you are falling into a black hole, the black hole singularity or the cosmic background radiation?

If you look up while you are falling into a black hole you see the universe blue shifted, that is, you see the universe moving quickly forward in time compared to your local time. Since this effect ...
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Radiative equilibrium in orbit of a black hole

According to Life under a black sun, Miller's planet from Interstellar, with a time dilation factor of 60,000, should be heated to around 890C by blue-shifted cosmic background radiation. How they ...
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How Does Cosmology Constrain the Number of Neutrino Species?

I know that based upon theories of structure formation cosmologists can constrain the sum of the masses of neutrinos - if neutrinos were too light or too heavy it would simply change the power ...
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470 views

Have CMB photons “cooled” or been “stretched”?

Introductory texts and popular accounts of why we see the "once hot" CMB as microwaves nearly always say something about the photons "cooling" since the Big Bang. But isn't that misleading? Don't ...
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Temperature of thermally isolated space region

If we thermally isolate a region in space, say using a hypothetical material of $0$ conductivity, and measure the region's temperature, will it be 2.7K?
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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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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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Why cosmic background radiation is not ether?

why cosmic background radiation is not ether? I mean it's everywhere and it' a radiation then we can measure Doppler effect by moving with a velocity.
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CMBR temperature over time?

How has CMBR temperature dropped as function of time? A graph would be nice, but I'd be happy with times (age of universe) when it cooled enough to not be visible to human eye, became room temperature ...
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How much noise is in the Cosmic Background Radiation, especially from Cosmic Rays

Do we have an estimate of how much noise, if any, say caused by cosmic rays in particular, is present in the CMB datasets and the maps based upon them? Can we extrapolate a figure from the cosmic ray ...
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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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Weak gravitational lensing multispectral, multibackground correlations

My understanding of weak gravitational lensing is that it assumes random alignment distribution of galaxies in order to estimate statistical shear and convergences, which are used to estimate matter ...
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388 views

$\Omega_{r}$ from WMAP results?

To do some Friedmann-Lemaître cosmology calculations, I would like to know an estimation of $\Omega_{r_0}$ ($\Omega$ radiation today). WMAP 7 give estimation of $\Omega_{b}$, $\Omega_{c}$ and $\Omega_{...
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When the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation cools, where does the energy go? [duplicate]

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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CMB anisotropy, temperature and doppler effect

How would you derive the following equation: $$ T' = T_{CMB} \left( \frac{\sqrt{1-v^2}}{1+v\cos{\theta}} \right) $$ which describes how the temperature of the CMB varies due to the speed $v$ of the ...