Detection of the Baryon Acoustic Peak in the Large-Scale Correlation Function of SDSS Luminous Red Galaxies

In the first million years of the Universe, cosmic perturbations drive sound waves into the cosmic plasma. These sound waves are seen in the cosmic microwave background maps as the acoustic oscillations. We have now detected the imprint of the acoustic phenomenon in the clustering of nearby galaxies, thereby completing an important test of our theory of gravitational structure formation. Moreover, because the sound wave pattern has been seen both at low redshift in the galaxies and at high redshift in the CMB, we can measure the relative distance to these two very disparate redshifts. This yields a geometric demonstration of the acceleration of the expansion rate of the universe.

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Our analysis team has been supported by several grants from the National Science Foundation as well as by the Sloan Foundation and NASA.

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