Imprint of gravitational waves on the cosmic microwave background

Robert Crittenden, J. Richard Bond, Richard L. Davis, George Efstathiou, Paul J. Steinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Long-wavelength gravitational waves can induce significant temperature anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background. Distinguishing this from anisotropy induced by energy density fluctuations is critical for testing inflationary cosmology and theories of large-scale structure formation. We describe full radiative transport calculations of the two contributions and show that they differ dramatically at angular scales below a few degrees. We show how anisotropy experiments probing large- and small-angular scales can combine to distinguish the imprint due to gravitational waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-327
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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