# CMB polarization data plots, almost a vector field, then what?

• Spinnor
In summary, the polarization of the CMB is described by a magnitude and an orientation that ranges from 0° to 180°. It is often defined mathematically using Stokes parameters and the red and blue colors in the plots represent temperature fluctuations.
Spinnor
Gold Member
The data points of the polarization of the CMB are a magnitude and an orientation that varies between 0° and 180°. What kind of mathematical field is that, not quite a vector field?

Thanks for any help!

Spinnor said:
The data points of the polarization of the CMB are a magnitude and an orientation that varies between 0° and 180°. What kind of mathematical field is that, not quite a vector field?

Thanks for any help!
This is how polarization on the sky is often defined mathematically:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stokes_parameters

And what are the red and blue colors in the plots?

bcrowell said:
And what are the red and blue colors in the plots?

Temperature fluctuations?

The data points of the CMB polarization are a magnitude and an orientation that vary between 0° and 180°, which can be represented as a vector field. However, the data also includes information about the polarization direction, which is not typically included in a standard vector field. This type of mathematical field is known as a pseudovector field, as it behaves like a vector field in some aspects but not in others. Pseudovector fields are commonly encountered in physics and can be described using mathematical techniques such as differential forms. In the context of CMB polarization data, this type of field helps us better understand the underlying physical processes that give rise to the observed polarization patterns.

## 1. What is CMB polarization data plot?

CMB polarization data plot is a graphical representation of the polarization patterns in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). It shows the direction and strength of the polarization of the CMB radiation, which can provide valuable insights into the early universe.

## 2. How is CMB polarization data plotted?

CMB polarization data is plotted using a vector field, where each vector represents the direction and strength of polarization at a particular point in the sky. The length of the vector indicates the strength of polarization, while the direction represents the orientation of the polarization.

## 3. What information can be obtained from CMB polarization data plots?

CMB polarization data plots can provide valuable information about the structure and evolution of the universe. They can help us understand the properties of dark matter and dark energy, the origin of the universe, and the process of cosmic inflation.

## 4. How is CMB polarization data collected?

CMB polarization data is collected using specialized instruments, such as telescopes and detectors, that are designed to measure the polarization of the CMB radiation. These instruments are typically placed in space or at high-altitude locations to minimize interference from Earth's atmosphere.

## 5. What are the applications of CMB polarization data?

CMB polarization data is widely used in cosmology and astrophysics research. It can help us test and refine our theories about the universe, study the properties of the early universe, and provide evidence for the existence of dark matter and dark energy. It can also be used to map the large-scale structure of the universe and investigate the nature of cosmic inflation.

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