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Cosmic inflation: BICEP 'underestimated' dust problem

RATE THIS! +34
Posted in Science on 22nd Sep, 2014 11:43 PM by AlexMuller

In March, the US BICEP team said it had found a pattern on the sky left by the rapid expansion of space just fractions of a second after the Big Bang. The astonishing assertion was countered quickly by others who thought the group may have underestimated the confounding effects of dust in our own galaxy.

 
That explanation has now been boosted by a new analysis from the European Space Agency's (Esa) Planck satellite. In a paper published on the arXiv pre-print server, Planck's researchers find that the part of the sky being observed by the BICEP team contained significantly more dust than it had assumed.
 
This new information does not mean the original claim is now dead. Not immediately, anyway. The BICEP and Planck groups are currently working on a joint assessment of the implications, and this will probably be released towards the end of the year.
 
However, if the contention is eventually shown to be unsupportable with the available data, it will prove to be a major disappointment, especially after all the initial excitement and talk of Nobel Prizes. What BICEP (also known as BICEP2) claimed to have done was find the long-sought evidence for "cosmic inflation".

Tags: sciencecosmologyastronomyBig Banguniverse

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-23
+2
Definite proof for cosmic inflation is not going to come from a single experiment even if confirmed and validated independently. It will take some time to design and properly execute new experiments that would address this complex theoretical concept
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-23
+1
It would be difficult to test this further. The concept implies that the Universe experienced an exponential growth spurt in its first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-23
+1
Inflation makes a very specific prediction - that it would have been accompanied by waves of gravitational energy, and that these ripples in the fabric of space-time would leave an indelible mark on the "oldest light" in the sky. Finding these ripples is one good supporting evidence
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-23
+1
Yes, and the BICEP team said its telescope at the South Pole had detected just such a signal! Reply
Reply


 

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