Acoustic Oscillations in the Early Universe and Today

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Science  22 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5525, pp. 2302-2303
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060440

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During its first ≃100,000 years, the universe was a fully ionized plasma with a tight coupling by Thompson scattering between the photons and matter. The trade-off between gravitational collapse and photon pressure causes acoustic oscillations in this primordial fluid. These oscillations will leave predictable imprints in the spectra of the cosmic microwave background and the present-day matter-density distribution. Recently, the BOOMERANG and MAXIMA teams announced the detection of these acoustic oscillations in the cosmic microwave background (observed at redshift ≃ 1000). Here, we compare these CMB detections with the corresponding acoustic oscillations in the matter-density power spectrum (observed at redshift ≃ 0.1). These consistent results, from two different cosmological epochs, provide further support for our standard Hot Big Bang model of the universe.

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