Nonlinear effects in the cosmic microwave background

Roy Maartens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major advances in the observation and theory of cosmic microwave background anisotropies have opened up a new era in cosmology. This has encouraged the hope that the fundamental parameters of cosmology will be determined to high accuracy in the near future. However, this optimism should not obscure the ongoing need for theoretical developments that go beyond the highly successful but simplified standard model. Such developments include improvements in observational modelling (e.g. foregrounds, non-Gaussian features), extensions and alternatives to the simplest inflationary paradigm (e.g. non-adiabatic effects, defects), and investigation of nonlinear effects. In addition to well known nonlinear effects such as the Rees-Sciama and Ostriker-Vishniac effects, further nonlinear effects have recently been identified. These include a Rees-Sciama-type tensor effect, time-delay effects of scalar and tensor lensing, nonlinear Thomson scattering effects and a nonlinear shear effect. Some of the nonlinear effects and their potential implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1090
Number of pages16
JournalGeneral Relativity and Gravitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Cosmology
  • Microwave background radiation


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