Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 2:00pm
Jens Chluba (CITA):
"Signals from the Cosmological Recombination Epoch"
Abstract. The Planck Surveyor is currently measuring the CMB temperature and polarization anisotropies with unprecedented precision. For the analysis of these data sets it will be very important to understand the ionization history of the Universe at redshift z~1100 with very high accuracy, since otherwise uncertainties in the modelling of the recombination process may lead to significant biases in the deduced values of some cosmological parameters. In addition to the simple fact that free electrons are captured by protons and helium ions also some photons are released in the cosmological recombination process, leading to small distortions in the CMB blackbody spectrum which should still be present today. This recombination radiation carries valuable information about the dynamics of recombination and the underlying cosmological parameters, which until now has not been accessed. In my talk I will review some of the recent refinements in connection with the ionization history of the Universe and the CMB power spectra, showing that neglecting details in the physics of recombination will lead to important biases in the values of n_s and Omega_b. Furthermore, I will try to show that one could learn a lot about cosmological parameter, details in the recombination dynamics, energy release at high redshift and possible dark matter annihilations during recombination by directly measuring the cosmological recombination radiation.