Discoveries from Planck may mean rethinking how the universe began

Jul 26, 2013

This spring, humanity was shown its most detailed map of the early universe ever created. Generated by observations from the Planck spacecraft, the map revealed fluctuations in temperature in the relic radiation left over from the Big Bang—what we call the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).

Recently, scientists on the Planck team announced finding certain large-scale features on the CMB sky that they cannot explain. One of them: a large cold spot, which corresponds to an anomalously large area of high density.

What does this mean? To discuss the findings, The Kavli Foundation held a discussion with three key members on the team. One important question: Will the theory for how the universe began need to be modified, amended or even fundamentally changed?

"[T]he theory of inflation predicts that today's universe should appear uniform at the largest scales in all directions," says George Efstathiou, professor of Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge and director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at Cambridge (KICC). "That uniformity should also characterize the distribution of fluctuations at the largest scales within the CMB. But these anomalies, which Planck confirmed, such as the cold spot, suggest that this isn't the case."

Efstathiou has been involved in the Planck mission since it was first proposed to the European Space Agency in 1993. "[T]his is very strange," he says. "And I think that if there really is anything to this, you have to question how that fits in with inflation.... It's really puzzling."

Says Anthony Lasenby, a member of the Planck Core Team and professor of astrophysics and at Cambridge and Deputy Director of KICC: "[This] data is really putting pressure on some alternative inflation models.... Inflation actually may have been more limited in scope than previously theorized."

Says Krzysztof Gorski, a Planck Collaboration scientist and senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA: "Perhaps we may still eliminate these anomalies with more precise analysis; on the other hand, they may open the door to something much more grand—a reinvestigation of how the whole structure of the should be."

Explore further: Astrophysicist's passion for exotic science inspired 'Interstellar'

Related Stories

No evidence for 'knots' in space

Jun 13, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Theories of the primordial Universe predict the existence of knots in the fabric of space - known as cosmic textures - which could be identified by looking at light from the cosmic microwave ...

Planck Satellite ready to measure the Big Bang

May 11, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The last tests of the Ariane 5 rocket system have been finished and ESA's Planck satellite is sitting ready for launch at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. Together with ESA's space telescope ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 54

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vacuum-mechanics
1.4 / 5 (21) Jul 26, 2013
This spring, humanity was shown its most detailed map of the early universe ever created. Generated by observations from the Planck spacecraft, the map revealed fluctuations in temperature in the relic radiation left over from the Big Bang—what we call the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).
……..
"[T]he theory of inflation predicts that today's universe should appear uniform at the largest scales in all directions….


Remember that there is a big free lunch in the Big Bang theory, maybe we need no such thing for the inflation as follow;
http://www.vacuum...=7〈=en
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (20) Jul 26, 2013
"I have never thought that you could obtain the extremely clumpy, heterogeneous universe we have today, strongly affected by plasma processes, from the smooth, homogeneous one of the Big Bang, dominated by gravitation." Alfven
Lurker2358
1.8 / 5 (20) Jul 26, 2013
Inflationary theory was offered as a mere "patch" for the Big Bang theory when it was obvious that the Big Bang could not stand on it's own. Even with the inflation patch, it still offers no explanation whatever regarding origins, since the BB ultimately violates the very principles it is derived from: Causality and conservation.

The "Something from nothing" crowd should acknowledge that Hawking's "one minus one equals zero(he means nothingness)" statement only holds true in a context where identity of addition and equality already exist. Since identity of addition and equality are laws, they are abstracts, but they are most definitely not "nothing," then it becomes blatantly obvious that in the context of the cosmos, "one minus one equals nothingness" cannot be true, because even if nothing else existed, the laws of math must have existed, and that's not nothing.

Then you have to ask where such laws come from, being a rationally derived system...
hemitite
4.5 / 5 (8) Jul 26, 2013
Alternate names for "The Big Bang":

-You'll Never Get All That Back In There

-What Happens If I Press This Button

There was another winner that I can't recall from an unsuccessful British renaming contest.
hemitite
3.9 / 5 (9) Jul 26, 2013
One of the things that the cold spot might indicate is that our universe has bumped into another "brain" or universe in higher dimensional space. If that is the case, then there may be nothing wrong with the current inflation theory after all.

I personally dislike the whole brain schema, but that, like some others disdain for inflation, is of course no predictor of its varsity.
cantdrive85
1.9 / 5 (18) Jul 26, 2013
"I was there when Abbe Georges Lemaitre first proposed this theory (BB). Lemaitre was, at the time, both a member of the Catholic hierarchy and an accomplished scientist. He said in private that this theory was a way to reconcile science with St. Thomas Aquinas' theological dictum of creatio ex nihilo or creation out of nothing." Hannes Alfven

"Since religion intrinsically rejects empirical methods, there should never be any attempt to reconcile scientific theories with religion. An infinitely old universe, always evolving, may not be compatible with the Book of Genesis. However, religions such as Buddhism get along without having any explicit creation mythology and are in no way contradicted by a universe without a beginning or end. Creatio ex nihilo, even as religious doctrine, only dates to around AD 200. The key is not to confuse myth and empirical results, or religion and science." Alfven

"In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded." Terry Pratchett

hemitite
2.8 / 5 (11) Jul 26, 2013
cant,

What if the religion in question is true? Is science forbidden to agree with the truth simply because a religion got there first and by other means?
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (18) Jul 26, 2013
cant,

What if the religion in question is true? Is science forbidden to agree with the truth simply because a religion got there first and by other means?

If the conclusion is met empirically and agrees what the religion claims, then yes, science is free to agree with religion, regardless as to how religion arrived at the conclusion. But if the religion in question is catholicism, there isn't a chance it's correct. Vedic philosophy maybe, not catholicism.
hemitite
1.3 / 5 (13) Jul 26, 2013
cant,

The very fact that the Catholic faith has survived unaltered these 2000 years to confront yet another cultural paradigm as in the current fad of neoliberalism (and your seeming faith of scientism), might lead a thoughtful person reexamine some of his basic assumptions.
cantdrive85
1.9 / 5 (18) Jul 26, 2013
The very fact that the Catholic faith has survived unaltered these 2000 years to confront yet another cultural paradigm as in the current fad of neoliberalism

Look, I usually don't cast aspersions at religious groups, except those that deserve it like the joos and Catholics and I guess the snake charmers, but that only exhibits how slowly people really do change and adjust their beliefs. Although, neoliberalism/socialism is not only a religion itself, but a disease quickly bringing to an end any hope for a life of freedom and liberty for the individual.
Tuxford
1.3 / 5 (15) Jul 26, 2013
Patch! Patch! Hurry, we need another patch! Surely the Big Bang Fantasy is not coming to an end. We will soon have to head for the exits of Disneyland. Fantasies sure are fun.
Fleetfoot
4.2 / 5 (13) Jul 26, 2013
Surely the Big Bang Fantasy is not coming to an end.


Nope, not in the slightest. What you are carefully avoiding is that the main bulk of the Planck results strongly support inflation (such as the measured value of the spectral index and absence of evidence for running), but rule out several more complex variants. Science works by looking at all the possibilities and falsifying those that don't match observation until there is only one left. There's a long way to go with the early universe but this is another good step along the road:

"[This] data is really putting pressure on some alternative inflation models.... Inflation actually may have been more limited in scope than previously theorized."

The recent confirmation of the first measurement of B-mode polarisation in the CMBR opens another avenue that will challenge some aspects and confirm others:

http://xxx.lanl.g...307.5830

http://phys.org/n...und.html
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4 / 5 (14) Jul 26, 2013
The large scale deviations is within what the theory predicts. It is a research strategy if you think they will tell you something or not on the main theory.

But it is a win for the main theory, because as Lasenby says, it rejects non-main alternates.

@vm: Cosmology and QM both tells us _all_ universes are a free lunch. Any valid theory must get that right. I assume your's doesn't.

@cantdrive: Alfvén was entirely wrong, which later observations told us.

@Lurker, Tuxford: Inflation leads up to a big bang universe, and in as much as it explained that latters initial conditions it supported it. It couldn't be any other way of course.

As for causality and conservation, it obeys both of course. A flat universe has zero total energy, which is why it, and its SM particles for example, can fluctuate out of the quantum void.

"Origin" is religious drivel, by the way, it isn't a valid cosmological observation. ...
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.2 / 5 (6) Jul 26, 2013
[cont] ... Susskind notes that in an eternal inflation scenario, which is what the current observed constraints on inflation leads up to, it will look like inflation always was there with a probability 1. It is unclear if any idea of initial conditions apply in such a case.

In any case, inflation has made "scientism" or in better words non-magic triumphant. First WMAP 9 year and now Planck 1st data release both validates beyond 5 sigma that any magic is now responsible for less than 10^-22 or in comparative empirical terms none of the curvature. A spontaneous process made the universe, not magic.

And just to make sure, a few months after LHC completed the standard particles, making sure that we know independently that soul/afterlife/rebirth & prayer magic doesn't exist. A soul or a prayer observer observing the minimal state information of neuron synapses would need to interact with particles 10^3 times more than LHC allows. (It's an easy estimate.)

Game over!
cantdrive85
1.8 / 5 (19) Jul 26, 2013
"There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time. It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago." Hannes Alfven

"The extraordinary thing is that scientists accept the Big Bang and in the same breath deride the Creationists." Wallace Thornhill
hemitite
2.7 / 5 (12) Jul 26, 2013
"cantdrive85 is my favorite sock puppet!"

- Wallace Thornhill
theon
1 / 5 (7) Jul 26, 2013
They had better invited Carl Gibson from San Diego. He would have explained it. Nonlinear structure formation from a turbulent plasma. Top-down scenario for large scale structures. No missing baryons. Neutrino dark matter.
meBigGuy
3 / 5 (4) Jul 27, 2013
@cantThink85
Try to find someone else to quote, or try to make some valid scientific commentary/analysis based on their comments. The article is a classic example of how science deals with data that doesn't fit. Science changes the model so it does fit. Seems much better than believing it is all just there because it is there so why bother. It's like everybody is wet, so we postulate it rained, but you just assume we have always been wet so why bother.
cantdrive85
1.6 / 5 (14) Jul 27, 2013
What can I say, there aren't too many Nobel prize recipients who have provided as much derisive material in re the BB and "standard" astrophysics.

Fleetfoot
4.1 / 5 (15) Jul 27, 2013
"There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time..." Hannes Alfven


.. apart from the Hubble Law, the CMBR, evolution of metallicity, absence of low temperature white dwarfs, large scale structure, evolution of AGN number density, the Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum, the Lyman-alpha Forest and the Gunn-Peterson Trough, primordial element abundances, size history of baryon acoustic oscillations, luminosity versus redshift of type Ia supernovae, etc.. You have to have a particular outlook on being "rational" to consider that "no reason".
Fleetfoot
3.3 / 5 (7) Jul 27, 2013
What can I say, there aren't too many Nobel prize recipients who have provided as much derisive material in re the BB and "standard" astrophysics.


Alexander Abian was an emeritus professor who became famous on the net for insisting that time was equivalent to mass. Alzheimer's is no respecter of past achievements.

If you can only ever quote one person who is famous for going off the rails, it proves your claims have no credibility.
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (4) Jul 27, 2013
One of the things that the cold spot might indicate is that our universe has bumped into another "brain" or universe in higher dimensional space.

I think you mean 'brane' (as derived from p-dimensional 'membranes' or P-branes from M-theory), not 'brain'.

What if the religion in question is true? Is science forbidden to agree with the truth simply because a religion got there first and by other means?

If religion got there first then purely by chance.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (13) Jul 27, 2013
cant,

What if the religion in question is true? Is science forbidden to agree with the truth simply because a religion got there first and by other means?
What truth are you talking about? The great flood? (didn't happen) The exodus? (never happened) Joshuas rampage? (never happened) Solomon/davids kingdoms? (never existed)

You can't derive insight about the nature of the universe from books full of lies. Only insight about human nature.

Vedic religion is only the notion that you can gain real knowledge by poking at your navel. More bullshit.

If some god created the universe then it is not_the god_of your books. And evidence suggests that this creator god does not alter his natural laws because you wish it, and has not provided you with a soul so that you and he can snuggle forever in bliss.

If this creator god exists then only science can reveal him.
Fleetfoot
3.5 / 5 (8) Jul 27, 2013
In my theory ... a random state without beginning or end. ...


What's up Natello/Zephyr/Origin, worn out your old socks?
Fleetfoot
4.4 / 5 (8) Jul 27, 2013
"There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time.." Hannes Alfven
apart from the Hubble Law, the CMBR, evolution of metallicity, absence of low temperature white dwarfs, large scale structure, evolution of AGN number density, the Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum, the Lyman-alpha Forest and the Gunn-Peterson Trough, primordial element abundances, size history of baryon acoustic oscillations, luminosity versus redshift of type Ia supernovae, etc.
Do these observations really violate the concept of infinite Universe?


An infinitely old universe would need to be steady state since, if it evolved, it would have collapsed to a big crunch or expanded to the de Sitter solution by now. The observations of various measures of evolution rule that out completely.

All rational analysis of the evidence leads to a single conclusion. To believe in an infinitely old universe requires ignoring all the evidence, that is irrational.
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (16) Jul 27, 2013
An infinitely old universe would need to be steady state since, if it evolved, it would have collapsed to a big crunch or expanded to the de Sitter solution by now. The observations of various measures of evolution rule that out completely.

You can't base the options of reality on bad math. As has been stated repeatedly, the "standard theorists" have only "superficial" knowledge of the plasma that pervades the Universe, any assumptions derived from your ideal gas laws of a vacuum are useless.

All rational analysis of the evidence leads to a single conclusion. To believe in an infinitely old universe requires ignoring all the evidence, that is irrational.

What's irrational is limiting your options to a failed theory.
Fleetfoot
2.7 / 5 (3) Jul 27, 2013
Applications Of Bayesian Model Averaging To The Curvature And Size Of The Universe:

http://www.techno...logists/


Note that the figure of 250 times the Hubble Volume is a conservative minimum, they also note that inflation would result in a figure of 10^23 times larger.

"They say that the curvature of the Universe is tightly constrained around 0. In other words, the most likely model is that the Universe is flat. A flat Universe would also be infinite and their calculations are consistent with this too."

http://map.gsfc.n...ape.html

As the article says, the current most likely fit is that it is flat, hence spatially infinite, but 13.8 billion years old. Don't confuse finite age and finite size, they are not the same, and finite age is not incompatible with infinite size as some people imagine.
geokstr
2.3 / 5 (15) Jul 27, 2013
All the current theories of cosmology leave one unsettling question - where did the universe come from?

Science says it all came from a singularity that expanded, but has no idea where that singularity came from. All the religious "theories" posit the answer is god, but also beg the question - where did he/she/it come from?

If there is not a starting point, then something needs to be infinitely old, but even that implies that it was "young" a long time ago, and logically infers it too was "born", but from where and how?

The true answer will probably never be known.

But for a great take on it that both the scientific and religious might enjoy, here is a short story by Isaac Asimov, who considered it one of his best: "The Last Question".
http://www.multiv...ion.html
Glad the Inhaler
1 / 5 (11) Jul 28, 2013
One wonders at what point adherents of Standard Model Big Bang Cosmology will say "uncle". Don't statements like these by various investigators indicate it's time to move on? If the data confirm the theory, statements like these would not be made.

"...these anomalies...suggest that this isn't the case."
"...is very strange..."
"...have to question how that fits..."
"...It's really puzzling."
"...really putting pressure on some...models..."
"...may have been more limited...than previously theorized."
"...may open the door to something much more grand..."
"...reinvestigation of how the whole structure of the universe..."
Claudius
2.5 / 5 (13) Jul 28, 2013
"One of them: a large cold spot, which corresponds to an anomalously large area of high density."

[jest] The cold spot is Heaven, of course. Look for the warm spot, that's Hell. In-between is Purgatory. [/jest]
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 28, 2013
So far these observations are bravely ignored with cosmologists, because these structures aren't supposed to be here by any mainstream model - no matter how well they could be "adjusted" by their parameters by now.


"Bravely ignoring" information with an infinitely adjustable "theory", it's how cosmology gets done these days with relativists and big bangers.
stripeless_zebra
1 / 5 (8) Jul 28, 2013
What if our Universe expands into remains of another ancient universe and the dark matter is actually alien matter?
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (12) Jul 28, 2013
What if our Universe expands into remains of another ancient universe and the dark matter is actually alien matter?

Alright jackass (this is not meant to be derogatory, what else would you call a zebra w/o stripes), what you are suggesting would require our universe expand just perfectly into this "alien matter" so as to allow the laws of physics work in our universe. That sounds like BBer/relativist reasoning, submit a paper you'll probably win a Noble for another miraculous resuscitation of a failed "theory" by a profoundly ad hoc'd conclusion. The "dark" ages continue...
Fleetfoot
4 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2013
To believe in an infinitely old universe requires ignoring all the evidence
Apparently, some physicists already http://www.popsci...ng-mass.


It's an unusual idea but I doubt it's anything more than raising a new measurement that could be made, like confirming that the Fine Structure hasn't varied with time. It will face serious problems, such as gravitational instability.

What you apparently firmly believe in by now may be forgotten just after few years in the same way, like most of people don't remember theories developed before seventy years.


That's not the way it works, Newtonian mechanics still applies. His law for gravity was replaced by GR in 1915 but still works as an approximation. The Big Bang model is essentially from the mid 1920's. We refine and add detail but the core is based on observations which future enhancements will still have to match.
Fleetfoot
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 28, 2013
Don't confuse finite age and finite size, they are not the same.
It is the same


Wrong, they are unconnected.

until the universe doesn't expand with infinite speed (which doesn't according the Big Bang theory)


Wrong, it does if it is spatially infinite, just apply the Hubble Law.

or until it doesn't expand from finite size (which doesn't according the Big Bang theory).


Wrong, only the observable portion was finite as it is now.

The diameter of universe filled with condensed matter is estimated to 93 Glyrs.


Wrong, that's just the observable universe. The whole is at least 250 million times larger.

If the universe is larger, it won't be filled with stars and galaxies as we known them,


Wrong, the Cosmological Principle applies, it would be homogenous and isotropic with uniform density throughout even if infinite.

If you are going to try to criticise the model, you should find out what it is first, you won't look so clueless.
Fleetfoot
3 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2013
If there is not a starting point, then something needs to be infinitely old, but even that implies that it was "young" a long time ago, and logically infers it too was "born", but from where and how?


No, infinity minus any finite number is still infinity. If the universe is infinitely old, it has always been infinitely old. It had no start and was never young.
Fleetfoot
3 / 5 (2) Jul 28, 2013
One wonders at what point adherents of Standard Model Big Bang Cosmology will say "uncle". Don't statements like these by various investigators indicate it's time to move on? If the data confirm the theory, statements like these would not be made.

"...really putting pressure on some alternative inflation models..."


The key word, which you carefully edited out, is "alternative ". There are many variants of inflation, this evidence suggests the simplest version seems to be accurate and more complex alternatives to the standard big bang are incorrect.

"...may open the door to something much more grand..."
"...reinvestigation of how the whole structure of the universe..."


Science is always looking for new ideas, you only have to look at the response to Perlmutter's evidence for dark energy.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (9) Jul 28, 2013
Boy, am I tired of reading about creationism on this site. Religion is not science, and this is a science site. The bible can't be referred to where it concerns the "Big Bang". Here's why: the first Genesis account is a very brief synopsis (misunderstood and misrepresented) of the description of how the solar system was formed, as dictated to scribes of ancient Sumeria who were in communication with "the sons of the gods" (Genesis 6), who were "those who to Earth from heaven came" (Anunaki), and who founded the first great cities of civilization where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet, beginning with Erdu (Earth). The story tells of the collision of Earth with another celestial body, said to be Nibiru's moon, the fragments of which became the asteroid belt. This event predates the existence of a habitable Earth. First Genesis's "creation story", then "the sons of the gods", then Noah - and creationists base all their ideas on those first few pages of the bible. Not science.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (8) Jul 28, 2013
No creationist or biblical scholar has ever explained to me the meaning of the passage in the book of Genesis 6 (New English Bible, king James version) which goes, "In those days, when the sons of the gods had intercourse with the daughters of men, there were giants upon the Earth. Those were the heroes of old." Odd.

Those giants were real. Gilgamesh was 16.5 feet tall. Goliath was 12 feet tall. The giants eventually disappear from history, but evidence for their previous existence is occasionally unearthed. People are reluctant to take seriously accounts or artifacts that are older than the bible itself, probably because of their somewhat tenuous belief that the Earth is only six thousand five hundred years old. The existence of "Gods" from another world who lived their lives for well beyond 100,000 Earth years is of course implausible to them, but a god who created the universe and lives forever is not. What a strange paradox in this day and age of enlightened beings.
baudrunner
1.3 / 5 (8) Jul 28, 2013
In any event, as many professional scientists will tell you, most often the simplest answer is the right answer. If we see the center of the WMAP Cold Spot as that place in nothing - notwithstanding the impossible paradox that there can't be a place in nothing - where the Universe begins creating space, time, and matter then we can assume that the Universe is probably continuing to create at the periphery. I've always thought that a Big Bang implies a finite concept, as in an explosion, and a finite event cannot yield an infinite amount of matter, ergo no Big Bang. So a modified inflation theory allows the cold spot to exist as that region where the earliest Universe has wound down and unraveled all of its energies. We can assume then that the cold spot will expand indefinitely as the Universe will continue to create at the periphery for perpetuity. Eventually creation in the domain where we exist will also wind down and cease to be, even while creation continues at the periphery.
stripeless_zebra
2 / 5 (8) Jul 28, 2013
Alright jackass


The rhetoric used by some individuals here makes participating in this forum pointless.

(this is not meant to be derogatory, what else would you call a zebra w/o stripes),


A zebra without stripes is called an albino zebra and I'm among the lucky few who had a chance to see it in the Nairobi National Park. I have many pictures to prove it's existence.

what you are suggesting would require our universe expand just perfectly into this "alien matter" so as to allow the laws of physics work in our universe. That sounds like BBer/relativist reasoning, submit a paper you'll probably win a Noble for another miraculous resuscitation of a failed "theory" by a profoundly ad hoc'd conclusion. The "dark" ages continue...


"We Should Look for Evidence of a Collision with Another Universe in Our Distant Past"
(Stephen Hawking)

If professor Hawking is right shouldn't we also look for existence of alien mater in our Universe?
Glad the Inhaler
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 29, 2013
The comments section of this site is ruled by creationists posing as scientists. It's blatantly obvious that creationist Big Bang adherents religiously gang up in concerted attacks on whoever proposes any sort of observational or logical rebuttal to the sacred BB cosmology. "Occam's razor be damned" ought to be their cavalier motto.

If observational data do not fit the theory, just complicate the theory and keep going! Tell the skeptical that they just don't get the math (which almost no one really does grasp) and continue to get away with it. Business as usual.

I understand that professionals in the cosmology industry (forgive me for saying that, but it is an industry, including academia) have vested interests in defending their positions and careers. Publish or perish, but the doyens of peer review do not tolerate heresy (they've taken over as guardians of the Standard Model, what the Church was to science in Galileo's time).
Glad the Inhaler
1.7 / 5 (11) Jul 29, 2013
The part I don't understand is why members of the public would be so enamored of the Standard Model, and so unwilling to consider any alternative. I'm assuming that the posters here are not science professionals, since they publish under pseudonyms. Why would amateur scientists not be eager to investigate and explore every alternative in order to confirm or falsify whatever hypothesis is proposed? One would think that falsifying a mistaken theory would be a very satisfying accomplishment. Deriding is not the same as falsifying, however, and evidence must consist in more than mere mathematical equations with adjustable parameters.
Glad the Inhaler
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 29, 2013
The religious adulation of Dr Hawking is so over the top. Why not pose him with a miter and scepter? It would be fitting since everything he says is regarded as gospel truth among BB adherents (even though the fact that black-hole solutions require division by zero makes a mockery of Hawking's occupying of Dr Newton's Chair). Oddly, Dr Einstein is also regarded as a holy figure who established an infallible dogma, but whose own words regarding black holes (physically impossible) are ignored. In similar fashion, Dr Hubble, another holy figure who established an infallible dogma, has his words regarding expansion (probably not the case) just as studiously ignored. Reasons such as these, and of course the creation of everything in an instant out of nothing (Dr LeMaitre's genesis model), are why I characterize the Standard Model as religion. The treatment of heresy in peer review supports the contention.
Tennesse
1.4 / 5 (10) Jul 29, 2013
The religious adulation of Dr Hawking is so over the top
Because he's a martyr dedicated to science (and he has a good business model for selling of his popular books). In reality this guy had a few insights (...which were stolen from J. Beckenstein, who did stole them from Russians...;-)) - but these insights already became obsolete a well before they were even proven. For example the Hawking radiation isn't the only mechanism, in which black holes lose their energy/matter and this mechanism is actually quite negligible for cosmology. But layman people do need a cultural icons - and Mr. Hawking is hell good as an icon.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Jul 29, 2013
IMO the contempoary cosmologists aren't creationists - they're just plain silly and unwiling to think about alternatives, because they were dismissed ceremonially already.

If you think that (or if you think science is invested in a 'status quo', anwhere) then you don't know the first thing about science.

Go out. Go to your local university or science foundation. Talk to some actual scientists instead of formulating conspiracy theories in your own head. You'll be surprised how little your current world view meshes with reality - I promise you.

Scientists like NOTHING better than shattering paradigms. But this does not mean that any theory that comes along and claims to shatter paradigms is to be taken at face value (there are far too many of those).

Scepticism is the order of the day. Always. Whether dealing with findings that look revolutionary or seem to corroborate current best theory makes no difference.
philw1776
1.3 / 5 (9) Jul 29, 2013
So if the universe is infinite as the flatness seems to indicate, that means that many powers of 10 beyond the light horizon the exact atoms configuring our solar system as it existed throughout time is repeated on and on. Somewhere there's real Jurassic Parks. A bit far away for the weekend vacation though.
philw1776
1.3 / 5 (9) Jul 29, 2013
So does this relative "cold spot" (assuming it's not a data processing artifact) hint at the kinds of markings that Roger Penrose speculated about in his latest cyclical universe Eon musings?
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (12) Jul 29, 2013
The religious adulation of Dr Hawking is so over the top


Yep, there is someone in a small dark room in The City who is responding to questions and comments directed to him via his voice box. He's really no smarter than a box of rocks, you can tell that by the metaphysical nonsense spewed forth in his books and such.
Aaron1980
1.2 / 5 (9) Jul 29, 2013
the universe is moving in the direction of the anomaly and it appears to us from our vantage point as a density fluctuation in the direction of motion.
Fleetfoot
3.8 / 5 (5) Jul 29, 2013
The part I don't understand is why members of the public would be so enamored of the Standard Model, and so unwilling to consider any alternative.


Some posters will consider anything because they have little knowledge of the observations that already exist. Some are in related sciences and have a sound idea of the physics. Personally, I'm in an unrelated technological field (communications design) but have studied the subject as an amateur for more than a decade. Like the professionals, I am willing (even excited) to consider any alternative that isn't ruled out by existing measurements. The problem is that the bulk of the posters are clueless idiots who have no idea how strongly the model is already constrained.

.. evidence must consist in more than mere mathematical equations with adjustable parameters.


The evidence is in the form of precise measurements from some incredible telescopes, it is those which falsify the crank theories, the maths is just a tool.
Fleetfoot
4 / 5 (5) Jul 29, 2013
So does this relative "cold spot" (assuming it's not a data processing artifact) hint at the kinds of markings that Roger Penrose speculated about in his latest cyclical universe Eon musings?


As yet, it's still difficult to be sure it even exists. Better measurements may tell us if it is a region of higher density within the observable universe, or perhaps an influence from a structure beyond our present horizon but until it can be accurately mapped, any explanation would only be guesswork.
Benni
1 / 5 (11) Jul 29, 2013
So if the universe is infinite.....


An "infinite" universe doesn't exist. It doesn't exist for the very reason Einstein declared in his General Theory of Relativity that it must be "finite" & "quasi-spherical", and the reason this must be the case is a small issue in thermodynamics call ENTROPY. None of the posters above this post understand anything about ENTROPY, thus displaying their woeful lack of scientific studies concerning anything to do with ENERGY & Conservation of Energy. Establish of ENTROPY is the only thing that sustains the Universe as we know it, & ENTROPY can never be established inside boundless parameters (infinity).

as the flatness seems to indicate,


This so-called "flatness" is simply an interpretation of data, "spin" if you please. The larger a spherical body is the greater the distance one must look to view the horizon, thus resulting in less rise/run that can be measured to the horizon on the surface or from inside interior boundaries.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2013
So if the universe is infinite...


Establish of ENTROPY is the only thing that sustains the Universe as we know it, & ENTROPY can never be established inside boundless parameters (infinity).


I see you're still pushing this same old garbage. Entropy can be established within the finite particle horizon so that's not a problem even in an infinite universe. There are major problems with entropy in other areas, such as how to include dark energy, but those are just as difficult whether the universe is finite or infinite.

as the flatness seems to indicate,


This so-called "flatness" is simply an interpretation of data, "spin" if you please.


Not "spin" but a well-measured value. However, because inflation would suggest it is closer to zero than the instruments can resolve, it won't answer the question.

Einstein's analysis was based on the assumption that the matter density was greater than critical which was the best guess at the time. That guess was wrong.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.