case western reserve university



Is the low-l Microwave Background Cosmic?

Glenn Starkman (Case Physics)

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has measured the fluctuations in the microwave background radiation over the entire sky at impressive angular resolution and signal to noise. This allows us to investigate the properties of the universe on the largest scales -- its geometry, topology, thermal and expansion history. But the microwave background radiation on large angular scales seems to have some rather bizarre statistical properties, suggesting that either the universe on large scales is much stranger than we ever imagined or the reported microwave background fluctuations on large angular scales are not in fact cosmic.