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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)