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CMB in a Box – Raul Abramo

Date: Tue. September 28th, 2010, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

First, I will show that the line-of-sight solution to cosmic microwave anisotropies in Fourier space, even though formally defined for arbitrarily large wavelengths, leads to position-space solutions which only depend on the sources of anisotropies inside the past light-cone of the observer. This happens order by order in a series expansion in powers of the visibility function. Second, I will show that the Fourier-Bessel expansion of the physical fields (including the temperature and polarization momenta) is superior to the usual Fourier basis as a framework to compute the anisotropies. In that expansion, for each multipole $l$ there is a discrete tower of momenta $k_{i,l}$ (not a continuum) which can affect physical observables, with the smallest momenta being $k_{1,l} ~ l$. The Fourier-Bessel modes take into account precisely the information from the sources of anisotropies that propagates from the initial value surface to the point of observation — no more, no less. This implies that the Fourier-Bessel expansion is the optimal scheme with which one can simulate constrained maps of the CMB temperature and polarization.

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