Talk #46, 4/15/09

Cosmic Microwave Background

Larry Kull

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is one of the key pieces of evidence supporting the theory of an expanding universe that began with an intense “fireball” of energy some 13.5 billion years ago. It was first discovered by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson in 1965 while working on experimental radio astronomy experiments at Bell Labs. They were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978 for their work. Since then, there have been a number of additional measurements using polar observing stations, balloons and satellites that have provided data with improved sensitivity and spatial resolution. Theoretical models based on this data have been developed to describe a variety of cosmological phenomena ranging from earth’s speed and direction of travel through space to the most fundamental parameters of the expanding universe. This talk will give a brief summary of the history of CMB work and attempt to describe the more accepted results in this field as well as ongoing research and some still controversial conclusions.


The following is a link to the full presentation (ppt format).