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The detection of microwave background fluctuations by COBE, together with other recent measurements of the microwave background at smaller angular scale, places significant constraints on all theories of structure formation. Several theories are not consistent with these observations, while other models strain to fit both the level of CBR fluctuations and the observations of galaxy velocities and large-scale structure.
These observations mark only a beginning. A full sky map of the microwave background at higher resolution will enable cosmologists to determine not only the mechanism that led to galaxy formation, but also the baryon density, the Hubble constant and $\Omega_0$ to reasonably high accuracy. The talk will review the current status of the field and explore prospects for the future.
Wednesday program listing