A Characteristic Scale on the Cosmic Microwave Sky
- Author(s): Pierpaoli, E
- Scott, D
- White, M
- et al.
The current suite of results from Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropy experiments is fulfilling the promise of providing extraordinary levels of discrimination between cosmological models. We calculate a binned anisotropy power spectrum, which we tabulate, along with error bars and bin-to-bin correlations, so that it can be easily used for constraining models. The resulting power spectrum is flat at large angles, with a gradual rise to a prominent peak at around 0.5 degrees and a decrease thereafter. This is precisely the shape predicted by inflationary-inspired adiabatic models. Within that class of cosmologies, this characteristic scale imprinted on the CMB sky can be used to infer that the geometry of the Universe is very close to flat. The next wave of CMB results should add fuel to the debate about whether or not the Universe once inflated, as well as beginning in earnest the task of measuring cosmological parameters.
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