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Planck 2013 results. XXVI. Background geometry and topology of the Universe

Planck 2013 results. XXVI. Background geometry and topology of the Universe

Publication date: 29 October 2014

Authors: Planck Collaboration

Journal: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume: 571, November 2014
Page: A26
Year: 2014

Copyright: ESO, 2014

The new cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature maps from Planck provide the highest-quality full-sky view of the surface of last scattering available to date. This allows us to detect possible departures from the standard model of a globally homogeneous and isotropic cosmology on the largest scales. We search for correlations induced by a possible non-trivial topology with a fundamental domain intersecting, or nearly intersecting, the last scattering surface (at comoving distance χrec), both via a direct search for matched circular patterns at the intersections and by an optimal likelihood search for specific topologies. For the latter we consider flat spaces with cubic toroidal (T3), equal-sided chimney (T2) and slab (T1) topologies, three multi-connected spaces of constant positive curvature (dodecahedral, truncated cube and octahedral) and two compact negative-curvature spaces. These searches yield no detection of the compact topology with the scale below the diameter of the last scattering surface. For most compact topologies studied the likelihood maximized over the orientation of the space relative to the observed map shows some preference for multi-connected models just larger than the diameter of the last scattering surface. Since this effect is also present in simulated realizations of isotropic maps, we interpret it as the inevitable alignment of mild anisotropic correlations with chance features in a single sky realization; such a feature can also be present, in milder form, when the likelihood is marginalized over orientations.
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