Weighing the universe with the cosmic microwave background

Gerard Jungman, Marc Kamionkowski, Arthur Kosowsky, David N. Spergel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Variations in Ω, the total density of the Universe, leave an imprint on the power spectrum of temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We evaluate the precision with which Ω can be determined by a CMB map as a function of sky coverage, pixel noise, and beam size. Assuming only that the primordial density perturbations were adiabatic and with no prior information on the values of any other cosmological parameters, a full-sky CMB map at 0.5° angular resolution and a noise level of 15 ΩK per pixel can determine Ω with a standard error of 5%. If all other cosmological parameters are fixed, Ω can be measured to better than 1%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1010
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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