Reconstructing the primary CMB dipole

P. Daniel Meerburg, Joel Meyers, Alexander Van Engelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The observed dipole anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature is much larger than the fluctuations observed on smaller scales, and it is dominated by the kinematic contribution from the Doppler boosting of the monopole due to our motion with respect to the CMB rest frame. In addition to this kinematic component, there is expected to be an intrinsic contribution with an amplitude about two orders of magnitude smaller. Here we explore a method whereby the intrinsic CMB dipole can be reconstructed through observation of temperature fluctuations on small scales that result from gravitational lensing. Though the experimental requirements pose practical challenges, we show that one can, in principle, achieve a cosmic variance limited measurement of the primary dipole using the reconstruction method we describe. Since the primary CMB dipole is sensitive to the largest observable scales, such a measurement would have a number of interesting applications for early universe physics, including testing large-scale anomalies, extending the lever-arm for measuring local non-Gaussianity, and constraining isocurvature fluctuations on superhorizon scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083519
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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