19 February 2004
19 February 2004
Speaker: David Spergel (Princeton University)
WMAP and Beyond
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has made an accurate
full-sky measurement of the microwave background temperature and
polarization fluctuations. These measurements probe
both the physics of the very early universe and the basic properties
of the universe today. The WMAP measurements rigorously test
our standard cosmological model and provide an accurate determination
of basic comological parameters (the curvature of the universe,
its matter density and composition). When combined with other
astronomical measurements, the WMAP measurements contrain the
properties of the dark energy and the mass of the neutrino.
also directly probe the physics of inflation: the current
data imply that the primordial fluctuations were primarily adiabatic
and nearly scale invariant.
Many key cosmological questions remain unanswered: what happened
during the first moments of the big bang? what is the dark energy?
what were the properties of the first stars? I will discuss the
role of on-going and future CMB observations in addressing
these key cosmological questions.
References for students:
Kosowsky, A, astro-ph/0102402, The Cosmic Microwave Background
Lectures given at the Italian Society of Gravitational Physics summer
school in Como, Italy, May 2000
Spergel et al.,First Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)
Observations: Determination of Cosmological Parameters, ApJ,
astro-ph/0302209, ApJSuppl. 148 (2003) 175
Peiris et al., First Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)
Observations: Implications for Inflation,astro-ph/0302225,
Astrophys.J.Suppl. 148 (2003) 213