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Cosmic microwave background radiation

  1. May 4, 2004 #1
    i read a article and i cant really understand all of it. I get some but then its beyond me.
    If someone could briefly summarise it so i can understand.

    Here is the link.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2004 #2


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    This article describes a survery of the cosmic microwave background radiation made by a satellite called the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). Basically, it uses two radio telescopes to measures the energy of the radiation coming from every direction in space. The energy of the radiation can be described with a "characteristic" temperature.

    WMAP is not the first such survey. The last one, done by the COsmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, had much lower resolution -- it could not discern details as fine as WMAP did. In addition, WMAP can also measure the polarization of the radiation, which is essentially the plane of the varying electric field of the radiation photons.

    The page goes on to describe some of the first numerical cosmological results from WMAP, including the age of the universe and its matter content.

    Please ask me some specific questions if you have any.

    - Warren
  4. May 4, 2004 #3


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    all our investigationtions of the universe involve EM detection in one
    way or another, but in theoreis of gravity the geometry or string holds
    as the basic, "thing" of the universe can these things be detected?
  5. May 4, 2004 #4


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    I'm not sure I understand wolfram's question ... is it "can the fundamental constituents of the universe - strings* - be detected?" Or maybe, "can the geometry** of the universe be detected, other than by observations of electro-magnetic radiation?"

    *in the sense of what's in String Theory/M Theory.

    **in the sense of General Relativity.
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