Big Bang Cosmology

Mathews, G. J.
May 2008
AIP Conference Proceedings;5/21/2008, Vol. 1016 Issue 1, p7
Academic Journal
The origin of matter and many interesting phenomena occurred during the big bang between the first instants of cosmic expansion time of the surface of photon last scattering. Even so, there are only two means by which to probe the physics of the big bang epoch. One is the observed power spectrum of temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. This spectrum derives from a combination of physics from the first instants of cosmic inflation, and the physics of matter and radiation at the photon last scattering surface. The other probe is the observed ashes of primordial nucleosynthesis which occurred during the radiation dominated epoch from about 1 sec to 103 sec into the big bang. This paper summarizes these two cosmic probes and their roles in motivating and constraining new cosmological paradigms. Among the topics discussed are the limits which these probes place upon the nature of dark matter and dark energy, along with possible insights into physics beyond the standard model of particle physics.


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