Chao-Lin Kuo talks with
ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about
this month's Fast Moving Front in the field of Space
Science. The author has also sent along an image of his
Article: High-resolution observations of the cosmic
microwave background power spectrum with
CL;Ade, PAR;Bock, JJ;Cantalupo, C;Daub,
MD;Goldstein, J;Holzapfel, WL;Lange, AE;Lueker, M;Newcomb,
M;Peterson, JB;Ruhl, J;Runyan, MC;Torbet, E
Journal: ASTROPHYS J, 600 (1): 32-51 Part 1 JAN 1
Addresses: Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Phys, 366 LeConte Hall
730, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA.
Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Phys, Berkeley, CA 94720
Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Astron, Berkeley, CA 94720
Cardiff Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, Cardiff CF24 3YB, S
(addresses have been truncated)
Why do you think your paper is highly cited?
The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the most ancient light in the
Universe. By measuring the structures in the CMB, we are studying the
Universe shortly after the Big Bang. Using the CMB as the backlight, we can
also learn important facts about the global properties, such as the
geometry of space, the amount of dark matter, and so on. The Arcminute
Cosmology Bolometer Array Receiver
(ACBAR) results are frequently used by theoretical
cosmologists and phenomenologists to test new ideas in fundamental
Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or
synthesis of knowledge?
High resolution measurements of ACBAR nicely complement results from the
WMAP satellite. This 2004 first result paper, and the subsequent two papers
with improved results, provide the best CMB anisotropy measurements on
arcminute scales. The final ACBAR results were described in Reichardt C,
et al., "High resolution CMB power spectrum from the complete
ACBAR data set," Astrophysical Journal, submitted, preprint
astro-ph/0801-1491. See figure 1.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper in
The most significant conclusion is that the now standard ingredients in
cosmology—dark matter, dark energy, and flat geometry—are here
to stay. Just 10 years ago, people were still highly skeptical. ACBAR
results exquisitely showed that the current understanding of the Universe
How did you become involved in this research and were
any particular problems encountered along the way?
ACBAR was my Ph.D. thesis project at the University of California,
Berkeley. We built the microwave receiver, took it to a two-meter telescope
at the South Pole, and spent four years for data collection and analysis.
Lots of hard work was involved, but the results made it worthwhile.
Where do you see your research leading in the
I will continue to study the CMB, especially its polarization properties.
This could provide information on the process of "inflation," which is
essentially the "Bang" of the Big Bang. Among other things, this process
might have given rise to the flat geometry we have observed.
Do you foresee any social or political implications for
It is important to know our surroundings. Cosmology is simply that, on the
largest scales possible in space-time.
Chao-Lin Kuo, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and SLAC
Stanford, CA, USA