Astrophysics (index)

Cosmic Microwave Background

(CMB, Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation)
(microwave radiation coming from every direction)

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation is weak Microwave Electromagnetic Radiation detectable in all directions, presumed to be the result of the Big Bang. It is quite uniform (showing just 0.04% Wavelength-variation in its peak strength, around the Celestial Sphere) but the variation that exists (Anisotropy) is studied as a means of studying the early universe. It was discovered by accident in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, earning them the 1978 Nobel Prize, having been predicted in 1948 by Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman.

The photons actually date to the time of Recombination, representing a "picture" of that time, at about Redshift 1090. At that time, the universe became transparent as the combination of electrons and protons throughout space yielded neutral Hydrogen, which is much less likely to capture or scatter photons. The spectrum is basically a redshifted 3000K Black Body spectrum, appearing now as a 2.725K black body spectrum. The very slight deviations from this are very much studied to answer questions about conditions during the formation and transmission of the radiation.

Other types of radiation (Cosmic Background Radiation) have also been found. (The phrase Cosmic Background Radiation is sometimes used to mean specifically the CMB.)

In planetary astronomy, the initials "CMB" are also used to abbreviate an entirely different phrase: Core-Mantle Boundary, i.e., the border of a planet's core.

(EMR,microwave,CBR,background,early universe)
1.1mm282.2GHz1.2meVCosmic Microwave Background
/Lookback Years
10904.28Gpc13.97GlyCosmic Microwave Background

Referenced by:
Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT)
Angular Power Spectrum
Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO)
Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope (CAT)
Cosmic Background Radiation (CBR)
Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB)
CMB Lensing
CMB Polarization
CMB Stage-4 (CMB-S4)
Cosmic Optical Background (COB)
Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)
Cold Spot
Compton Scattering
Computational Astrophysics
Dark Energy
Dark Flow
DGP Gravity
Dragone Telescope
Extragalactic Background Light (EBL)
Epoch of Reionization (EOR)
Fsky (fsky)
GZK Limit
Initial Fluctuation Spectrum
Magnetic Energy Spectrum
Maximum Likelihood Mapmaking
Multipole Expansion
Non Gaussian (NG)
N-Point Function
Polarization Modes
Spherical Harmonics
South Pole Telescope (SPT)
Surface Brightness
Sachs-Wolfe Effect (SWE)
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Array (SZA)
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect (SZ Effect)
Thomson Optical Depth
Thomson Scattering
Very Small Array (VSA)
Weak Lensing
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)