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Colloquium in Theoretical Physics

Can One Hear the Shape of the Universe?

Professor Frank Steiner
Universität Ulm

Friday, 14th January 2005, 13.30
Lecture hall (Sal) F, Sölvegatan 14

The temperature fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) will be discussed, in particular, "the mystery of the missing fluctuations" at large scales, first observed by COBE and nicely confirmed by the first-year data of NASA's explorer mission "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe" (WMAP). We show that these data hint that our Universe might possess a non-trivial spatial topology. Two nearly flat models are discussed: the Picard space which is stretched out into an infinitely long horn, but with finite volume, and the Poincaré dodecahedron. Both models predict the observed suppression of power at large scales. As a signature of cosmic topology, one should find pairs of matching circles in the CMB sky maps.


R. Aurich, S. Lustig, F. Steiner and H. Then
Hyperbolic Universes with a Horned Topology and the CMB Anisotropy
Class. Quant. Grav. 21 (2004) 4901-4925, astro-ph/0403597
popular introduction
R. Aurich, S. Lustig, F. Steiner and H. Then
Can one hear the shape of the Universe?
to appear in Phys. Rev. Lett, astro-ph/0412407

R. Aurich, S. Lustig and F. Steiner
CMB Anisotropy of the Poincaré Dodecahedron

The Colloquia in Theoretical Physics are aimed for a general audience of students, teachers and researchers interested in physics and the laws of Nature. Coffee will be served after the Colloquium.

Everybody is welcome!

Gösta Gustafson -- Theoretical physics
Sven Åberg -- Mathematical physics

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