Journal Article

Matter temperature during cosmological recombination

Douglas Scott and Adam Moss

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 1, pages 445-446
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14939.x
Matter temperature during cosmological recombination

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The temperature of the atomic matter in the Universe is held to that of the cosmic background radiation until decoupling at z∼ 100. After this, it cools faster than the radiation [∝ (1 +z)2 rather than (1 +z)] and would have fallen to about 20 mK today if astrophysical feedback processes had not heated up the interglactic medium. We show how the derivative of the Compton coupling equation helps numerically to follow the decoupling process.

Keywords: atomic processes; cosmic microwave background; early universe

Journal Article.  1098 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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