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Session 31 - The Structure and Evolution of The Universe - I.
Topical, Oral session, Tuesday, June 09

[31.03] Cosmic Seeds

D. N. Spergel, C. L. Bennett, M. Halpern, G. Hinshaw, N. Jarosik, A. Kogut, M. Limon, J. Mather, S. S. Meyer, L. Page, G. Tucker, D. T. Wilkinson, E. Wollack, E. L. Wright (MAP Science Team)

Microwave background fluctuations trace the density fluctuations three hundred thousand years after the big bang. COBE has already shown that these fluctuations exist at a level consistent with the gravitational growth of structure from primordial fluctuations. Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) will map of the microwave background temperature and polarization at 5 frequencies ranging from 22 - 90 GHz at angular resolution of 0.21 degrees at its highest frequency. These high resolution temperature and polarization maps will determine whether the primordial fluctuations are adiabatic density variations as predicted by inflation or isocurvature fluctuations as predicted in alternative models of structure formation. If the fluctuations are adiabatic, MAP will yield precision measurements of the geometry of the universe, the ratio of baryons density/dark matter density, the ratio of dark matter density/radiation density, as well as the primordial spectrum of fluctuations. If the fluctuations are not adiabatic, then we will have to rethink our standard ideas about the origin of structure.

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