1. Yours truly's course Cosmology: Course Web Site / Extended Syllabus
  2. CMB Astrophysics Research Program This is a Lawrence Berkeley Lab site reporting on George Smoot's group. The is a COBE site with images. Unless otherwise noted, the images can be used for non-commercial purposes.

  3. NASA WMAP The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe site. Some good images. They are NASA images, and so public domain I believe. They ask that you credit NASA/WMAP Science Team when using the images.


  1. ../cosmol/cmb/cmb_cobe_spectrum.gif Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) from COBE and other detectors.

    The plot is logarithmic on all three axes.

    The microwave band by one convention is redward of 0.1 cm; blueward is infrared (HZ-54).

    The data is excellently fit by a blackbody spectrum CMB T = 2.72548(57) K (Fixsen 2009) (see also Wikipedia: Cosmic microwave background radiation: Features).

    Credit: CMB Astrophysics Research Program: COBE site This is a Lawrence Berkeley Lab site reporting on George Smoot's group.

  2. ../cosmol/cmb/cmb_map_wmap.jpg Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) all-sky map from WMAP circa 2003.

    Why is there no scale?

    The average temperature is 2.725+/-0.001 K.

    The colors code deviations in micro-Kelvins: dark blue (-200), green (0), red (+200).

    Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team.

  3. ../cosmol/cmb/cmb_powerspectrum_wmap.gif Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) power spectrum from WMAP (2003).

    But rather vaguely, the top plot shows of frequency of hot and cold spots of various angular sizes on the sky (FK-652--653). Large spots are on the left; small spots on the right.

    The data points come from the WMAP satellite and other detectors.

    The curve is fit to the data???---but with how many free parameters---of what is called a scale-invariant power spectrum which is a prediction of most inflation models irregardless of the details of the inflation mechanism (CL-263,265,274--275; Gr-309).

    The fact that inflation predicted the observations is an astonishing triumph of the inflation idea.

    It does NOT prove inflation, but it certainly strongly supports it.

    Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team.

  4. An Aristotelian Cartoon of the Cosmos The image is, I think, a 19th century pastiche.
  5. Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)
  6. The Epicycle Idea
  7. Presocratic Philosophers The first philosopical cosmologists.


  1. ``Evolution of the Ionizing Background and the Epoch of Reionization from the Spectra of z~6 Quasars'' Fan, et al. 2002, AJ, 123, 1247, astro-ph/0111184. The theory paper stating why reionization happens at about z=6.
  2. ``The phase coherence of extragalactic light II: why the curvature of space must be precisely zero'' Lieu, R., Mittaz, J.P.D., & Hamilton, L. W. 2003, ApJL, submitted, astro-ph/0308305. These guys claim GR and current observations require that Omega=1 exactly. This is way beyond the flatness demand of infation.
  3. ``Do We Live in a Vanilla Universe? Theoretical Perspectives on WMAP'' Easther, R. 2003, in CIPANP 2003, astro-ph/0308160. An almost intelligible, short paper about what WMAP means now. Inflation looks good, but all classes of inflation are still possible.
  4. ``Supersymmetric Dark Matter with GLAST'' Lionetto, A. 2003, in Proceedings (Frascati physics series) of the "Incontro Nazionale di Astrofisica delle Alte Energie", in press, astro-ph/0308092. Well from gamma-rays measured by GRO EGRET it seems there is evidence for neutralino pair annihilation---neutralinos being a dark matter canditate. ``The Emergent Universe: An Explicit Construction'' Ellis, G. F. R., et al. 2003, gr-qc/0307112. I wish I understood more---or even something. But it seems a closed, finite inflationary cosmology is possible that avoids initial singularities if you fine-tune. Once again one has argue philosophical points of view in the absence of a way to break the time-barrier of the Big Bang. I wonder if inflation cosmology is analogous to Ptolemaic epicycle modeling---initially alluring, but ultimately a dead end. But what's the alternative.
  5. ``Ancient Origins of a Modern Anthropic Cosmological Argument'' Cirkovic, M. M. 2003, Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, in print, astro-ph/0307564. Very mildly interesting. A nice quote from Eddington.
  6. ``Early Cosmology and Fundamental Physics'' De Vega, H. 2003, Proceedings of the 9th Chalonge School in Astrofundamental Physics, Palermo, September 2002, NATO ASI (somewhere: Kluwer). A brief pedagogical introduction. In a remote sense I sort of have a hint of what is going on. 2003jul29
  7. ``The Dark Age of the Universe'' Miralda-Escude, J. 2003, Science, 300, 1904, astro-ph/0307396. A good short review on the Dark Age and Reionization. 2003jul26
Papers: the old way which is too tedious to keep up