Max Tegmark's cosmology library: cobepow

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The angular power spectrum of the 4 year COBE data


Max Tegmark


The angular power spectrum C_l is extracted from the 4 year COBE DMR data with a 20 degree galactic cut, using the narrowest window functions possible. The average power in eight multipole bands is also computed, and plotted together with a compilation of power spectrum measurements from other experiments. The COBE results are found to be consistent with an n=1 power spectrum with the normalization Qrmsps=18 microkelvin reported by the COBE DMR team. Certain non-standard cosmologies, such as "small universe" models with nontrivial spatial topology, predict power spectra which are not smooth functions. Rather, they contain bumps and wiggles that may not have been detected by other data analysis techniques such as the Hauser-Peebles method (Wright etal 1996), the band-power method (Hinshaw etal 1996) and orthogonalized spherical harmonics (Gorski etal 1996), since these methods all give broader window functions that can smear such features out beyond recognition. On the large angular scales probed by COBE, the Universe thus appears to be kind to us, presenting a power spectrum that is a simple smooth function.

Reference info:

Published in ApJ Letters, 464, L35 (1996)

Online references:

This site also contains the latest versions of some papers that are referenced in the text; Tegmark 1996a ("T96"), Tegmark 1996b, Tegmark & Bunn 1995,

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This page was last modified July 1, 1998.