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Friday, 24 May 2013

Adiabatica


Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
http://www.nicadd.niu.edu/~bterzic/PHYS652/Lecture_19.pdf  by Balša Terzić  
"The CMB radiation is a prediction of Big Bang theory. According to the Big Bang theory, the
early Universe was made up of a hot plasma of photons, electrons and baryons. The photons were
constantly interacting with the plasma through Thomson scattering. As the Universe expanded,
adiabatic cooling caused the plasma to cool until it became favorable for electrons to combine
with protons and form hydrogen atoms. This happened at around 3,000 K or when the Universe
was approximately 380,000 years old (z ≈ 1100). At this point, the photons scattered off the
now neutral atoms and began to travel freely through space. This process is called recombination
or decoupling (referring to electrons combining with nuclei and to the decoupling of matter and
radiation respectively). The photons have continued cooling ever since; they have now reached 2.725 K and their temperature will continue to drop as long as the Universe continues expanding. Accordingly,
the radiation from the sky that we measure today comes from a spherical surface, called the surface of last scattering. This represents the collection of points in space (currently around 46 billion light years from the Earth) at which the decoupling event happened long enough ago (less than 400,000 years after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago) that the light from that part of space is just reaching observers."