Imprint of gravitational waves on the cosmic microwave background

Robert Crittenden*, J. Richard Bond, Richard L. Davis, George Efstathiou, Paul J. Steinhardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-wavelength gravitational waves can induce significant temperature anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background. Distinguishing this from anisotropy induced by energy density fluctuations is critical for testing inflationary cosmology and theories of large-scale structure formation. We describe full radiative transport calculations of the two contributions and show that they differ dramatically at angular scales below a few degrees. We show how anisotropy experiments probing large- and small-angular scales can combine to distinguish the imprint due to gravitational waves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-327
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993


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