Skip to comments.Best Image of Big Bang Afterglow Ever Confirms Standard Cosmology
Posted on 03/23/2013 10:44:05 PM PDT by neverdem
If the universe were ice cream, it would be vanilla. That's the take-home message from researchers working with the European Space Agency's orbiting Planck observatory, who today released the most precise measurements yet of the afterglow of the big bang—the so-called cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. The new data from Planck confirm cosmologists' standard model of how the universe sprang into existence and what it's made of. That may disappoint scientists who were hoping for new puzzles that would lead to a deeper understanding.
"We're always hoping to find new things," says Glenn Starkman, a theoretical physicist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, who does not work on Planck. "But we're finding that our model is really, really good—maybe disappointingly good." Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, agrees. "The sensational news is that there is no sensational news," he says.
Cosmology's standard model goes a bit like this. The universe sprang into existence instantaneously in the big bang as a hot, dense soup of matter and energy. Then, in the first 10-30 seconds, space itself expanded much faster than light speed. That growth spurt, known as inflation, had two main effects. First, it smoothed the universe out and rendered it geometrically "flat" on the largest scales. At the same time, it greatly magnified tiny quantum fluctuations in the density of hot matter and energy. These density fluctuations then left tiny variations in the temperature of the CMB across the sky and, much later, seeded the formation of the galaxies. Like other CMB missions before it, Planck, which was launched in 2009, studied these variations.
From studies of the CMB and other measurements, cosmologists have also deduced the composition of the universe. Planck refines those measurements, particularly those of NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which collected data from 2001 to 2010. According to Planck, the universe consists of 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% mysterious dark matter that has revealed itself through only its gravity, and 68.3% weird, space-stretching dark energy. Those numbers amount to roughly 3% more dark energy and 3% less dark matter than WMAP's result. The Planck team also pegs the age of the universe at 13.8 billion years, 100 million years older than WMAP found.
All in all, the results fit the expectation of the standard model of cosmology almost perfectly, reported George Efstathiou, a cosmologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a Planck team member, at a press briefing in Paris. "If I were an inflationary cosmologist, I would be very happy and thinking about a Nobel," Efstathiou said. Inflation was invented by Alan Guth, a physicist and cosmologist who is now at MIT.
More important, however, is what Efstathiou didn't say. Scientists had a short list of things that they had hoped Planck would find. For example, its measurements could have shown that a weird type of particle called a sterile neutrino existed, that the variations in the CMB weren't random in a particular way, that the original distribution of density fluctuations didn't jibe with the simplest model of inflation, or that space isn't really flat. But Efstathiou mentioned no such evidence. "These changes are not favored by the Planck data," he said. "The data don't want any of these things."
Still, there is some hope for new puzzles, Efstathiou said. Researchers break the mottled CMB down into superimposed patterns of larger and smaller spots, much as a musical chord can be broken down into individual notes. And at larger, angular scales there appear to be some anomalies, Efstathiou says. For example, the northern half of the sky appears to have slightly stronger large-scale variations than the southern half.
Such anomalies had been seen before in the WMAP data. The fact that they exist in the Planck data too means they must be real, Starkman says. "If you had made a mistake with WMAP, you wouldn't expect Planck to see it," he says. Tegmark agrees and says that the large-scale anomalies could provide clues to how inflation began. "Maybe the universe is trying to tell us something," he says. "I think we should start to take this more seriously now."
It's not clear that the anomalies mean anything, however. The CMB is the product of a random process, so the anomalies could simply be statistical flukes. Alas, with the CMB and the big bang, researchers can't redo the experiment to see if the effect goes away.
Cliffs Notes version: God exists.
If eternity future is possible.. eternity past must also be possible..
Which would relegate the BIG BANG.. to an interesting YARN..
much like “Evolution”.. also an interesting Tale..
Humans are such drama queens.. who also like “democracy”
Which is a Yarn of massive proportions.. no democracy has ever been democratic..
Democracy was, is and will continue to be Mob Rule by mobsters..
Much like Monarchy with a different kind of Mob.. more efficient really..
Very good entertainment all..
"The evidence2 is available that shows the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation is not background at all. It is a local radio fog from interacting Birkeland filaments within the Milky Way. The cold spot confirms that the CMB has no cosmological significance. It is commonsense that one hemisphere will be colder than the other, unless we just happen to be dead-center in the electric current stream of our arm of the Milky Wayan unlikely situation. As for the suggestion of a parallel universe, it is a meaningless juxtaposition of wordssadly a regular feature of modern physics."
When they eventually look far enough, they’ll see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
If nothing can move FTL and everything started in the same place, how can we look ‘back’ and see the light from the Big Bang? We must have moved faster than the light in order to be ‘in front’ of it.
The galaxy is flat looking and not a globe, but do we have a measurement for the height of the galaxy?
Still doesn’t explain how the universe “sprang into existence.” There’s gotta be a lot of energy to make something that big “spring” into existence.
What was the source of energy?
Saying that the universe pops in and out of existence, like some scientists do, is really stupid.
The only answer, is that a force or source of energy OUTSIDE of the universe caused it to come into existence. (See St. Thomas of Aquinas for a further explanation.)
BTW, “spring into existence” is stupid. Only something that already exists can “spring” anywhere. So if it doesn’t exist, it can do any “springing.”
The afterglow from the biggest, best bang ever just gets a yawn from researchers?
I wanna party with those cats
Remember that your looking far away doesn't mean that you're far away, it means your eyes are getting light from there that took a while to travel to you.
We're just now finally receiving really old light (think of the USPS) and it's showing us how things looked like a long time ago. Something else is that back then the universe was smaller. Now I know that things are supposed to look smaller when they're farther away, but super far distances means we're looking at stuff that's actually small because the entire universe was small back then.
That picture is what the big bang looked like, as seen from the inside.
What, you're saying there was no 'beginning' when God created heaven and earth?
That's not ten to thirty seconds, it's 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000th of a second. The idea being that space traveled in that time a distance of about a couple feet until the entire universe was the size of a beach ball. Personally I don't buy that FTL story; I find it easier to believe that everything began with the universe already 4 feet across.
And what line of reasoning connects this science news to your claim that your bloodthirsty horror fantasy created it all?
Audio of the Big Bang afterglow:
“So I sing you to sleep, after the lovin’....”
Yeah, yeah, I understand the negative. It' didn't carry in a hasty copy/paste executed at near Planck speed (choked only by bandwidth restrictions)
I find it easier to believe that everything began with the universe already 4 feet across.
That's humerous enough, but why 4ft? Why not 40, 400, or 4,000?
and that`s why their theory will always be a ‘ maybe-what-if-perhaps’ theory.
What they are actually arguing is that their theory defies basic laws, that something, in fact everything, came from, nothing !
They argue EFFECT with no CAUSE !
What, you’re saying there was no ‘beginning’ when God created heaven and earth?
Exactly.. Linear Time itself may be only a perception.. i.e. of humans..
I know this goes against rational thinking “in the box”...
but “in the box” you may only see “cardboard”.. i.e. cardboard box..
Humans thinking about time can be described in the metaphor of a Chimpanzee considering a Platinum diamond encrusted Rolex watch.. The creature has no idea of whats involved in producing that “interesting bauble”...
With Chimps whats important is WHO GETS TO hold the artifact.. disagreements can happen.. and fights over possession of the “shiny thing”... What “IT” actually “IS”.. becomes much less important.. than pecking order..
You know... “alpha ape” credentials.. LOL.. like an “APE” has the slightest concept of what that watch actually is..
Apes considering “GOD” is also a “reach”.. not far from humans attempts at it.. like a painting trying to psycho analyze the painter..
I admit humans have a distinct problem with INFINITY..
or anything “eternal”... The real question is “IS” eternity possible.. cause if it is.. it is possible in both “perceived” directions.. (past and future)..