Wednesday Colloquium


"Cosmic microwave background anomalies at large angular scales"

Paweł Bielewicz (NCAC, Warsaw)

Studies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) are today one of the most important pillars of observational cosmology. They provide information not only on the initial conditions of the Universe but also on scales comparable to the horizon of the observable Universe. This gives a unique opportunity to pose important questions about very fundamental assumptions made in the standard cosmological model such as statistical isotropy and Gaussianity of the initial fluctuations. Since the COBE and WMAP data releases, considerable effort has been spent on analyzing the statistical properties of the CMB maps at large angular scales. Remarkably, this effort has resulted in several reports of a breaking of statistical isotropy, as established by many qualitatively different methods. Recently, these observations has been confirmed for the Planck data. I will review these studies and few hypotheses concerning the observed anomalies paying special attention to prospects of testing them using future cosmological observations.