A Caltech Library Service

Cosmic Microwave Background Observations in the Era of Precision Cosmology

Readhead, Anthony (2008) Cosmic Microwave Background Observations in the Era of Precision Cosmology. In: Frontiers of Astrophysics : A Celebration of NRAO's 50th Anniversary. ASP Conference Series. Vol.395. Astronomical Society of the Pacific , San Francisco, CA, pp. 21-33. ISBN 978-1-58381-660-8.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation is a major arena for testing cosmological theories. Its discovery confirmed the hot-big- bang origin of the universe and ruled out the steady-state theory. Since that time the impact on cosmology of CMB studies has grown steadily, indicating the prevalence of non-baryonic matter and the existence of a negative pressure component in the 1980’s; the discovery of anisotropy in the 1990’s spurred a new generation of experiments and the entry into the era of precision cosmology in 2000 with the demonstration that the geometry is close to flat. The new “holy grail” of the field is the large-scale B-mode polarization component, which would reveal the energy scale of inflation. The sensitivity needed is ~10^(−8) Kelvin, and at this level foreground polarized emission is likely to dominate over most of the sky. New radio-frequency cameras consisting of ~1,000-element MMIC arrays will be deployed over the next few years on a wide variety of instruments and should bring about a revolution in radio astronomy with enormous consequences, not only for cosmology, but also for a wide variety of astrophysical studies.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Readhead, Anthony0000-0001-9152-961X
Additional Information:© 2008 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The NRAO has provided dynamic leadership to the world radio-astronomy community for the last five decades, for which we in the university community should be most grateful, and at this 50th anniversary, on the eve of ALMA, it is fitting to acknowledge this and to recognise the fact that the symbiotic practice of radio astronomy at universities and national laboratories worldwide is both an extraordinary accomplishment and essential to our future success. I thank Alan Bridle for his patience and assistance in preparing this manuscript.
Series Name:ASP Conference Series
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100722-100420795
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:19156
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Aug 2010 02:54
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:53

Repository Staff Only: item control page