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|Paper IPM / Physic / 17200||
It is widely agreed that studying the 21 cm emission line from neutral hydrogen may be our best hope for understanding the creation of the first structures during the dark ages and the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). This hyperfine transition occurs as a result of the spin-spin interaction between the electron and the proton in hydrogen: The energy of the parallel spins (triplet) state is greater than that of the anti-parallel spins (singlet). This transition is strongly banned, with a transition probability of 2.6Ã10â15sâ12.6Ã10â15sâ1 being exceedingly low. Despite its low chance, the 21 cm hyperfine transition is one of the most important tools in observational astronomy due to the abundance of hydrogen in the Universe. The relative occupation number of the ground state and the occupation number of the excited state determine the strength of the 21 cm emission or absorption. Collisions or the so-called Wouthuysen-Field effect can both excite the 21 cm line. In this article, we give a brief review of the basic physics of 21 cm emission and highlight the current main worldwide 21 cm signal experiments. We also discuss several related concepts in astronomy and cosmology with these observations.
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