Cosmology: Late news from the Big Bang

February 5, 2015
The Universe – as seen by Planck. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Viatcheslav Mukhanov, cosmologist at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich, models the first instants after the creation of our Universe. Data from the Planck telescope have now confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt his theory of the quantum origin of structure in the Universe.

What exactly happened after the Universe was born? Why did stars, planets and huge galaxies form? These are the questions that concern Viatcheslav Mukhanov, and he tries to find the answers with the help of mathematical physics. Mukhanov, Professor of Physics at LMU, is an acknowledged expert in the field of Theoretical Cosmology - and he has used the notion of so-called to construct a theory that provides a precise picture of the crucial initial phase of the evolution of our Universe: For without the minimal variations in energy density that result from the tiny but unavoidable quantum fluctuations, one cannot account for the formation of stars, planets and galaxies that characterize the Universe we observe today.

The Planck Consortium has now published new analyses of data returned by the eponymous space telescope. The telescope on board of the Planck satellite has measured the distribution of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), which, in essence, tells us what the Universe looked like about 400,000 years after the Big Bang. These latest findings are in complete agreement with the predictions of Mukhanov's theory - for example, his calculation of the value of the so-called spectral index of the initial inhomogeneities. As Jean-Loup Puget, Principal Investigator for the HFI-instrument on the Planck satellite, stated: "The Planck data confirm the basic predictions that quantum fluctuations are at the origin of all structures in the Universe." Mukhanov, who first published his model in 1981 and joined the Physics Faculty at LMU in 1997, says "I couldn't hope for a better verification of my theory."

Messages from the remote past

For Mukhanov, the idea that quantum fluctuations must have played a role in the very earliest phase of the history of the Universe is implicit in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Heisenberg showed that there is a specific limit to the precision with which the position and the momentum of a particle can be determined at any given moment. This in turn implies that the initial matter distribution will inevitably exhibit minute inhomogeneities in density. Mukhanov's calculations first demonstrated that such quantum fluctuations could give rise to density differences in the early Universe, which in turn could serve as seeds for the galaxies and their clusters. Indeed, without quantum fluctuations, whose nature and magnitude Mukhanov quantitatively characterized, the observed distribution of matter in the Universe would be inexplicable.

The latest study of the Planck datasets is more detailed and more informative than the preliminary analysis published about 2 years ago. It reveals with unprecedented precision the patterns imprinted by primordial fluctuations on the distribution of radiation in the young Universe. Thus, instruments such as the Planck telescope can record these dispatches from an unimaginably remote past encoded in the microwave radiation that is still propagating through space - 13.8 billion years later. And from this information the Planck team can reconstruct a detailed picture of the distribution of matter at the birth of our Universe.

No observational evidence for gravitational waves

Furthermore, the Planck data show that a previously reported signal purportedly confirming the existence of so-called can be largely attributed to dust in our own galaxy. The BICEP2 team is using a ground-based telescope in the Antarctic to search the CMB for signs of gravity waves produced immediately after the Big Bang. In March 2014, the team reported the detection of the long-sought pattern. However, doubts soon emerged regarding this interpretation. Now a joint analysis by the Planck and BICEP2 teams has concluded that the data do not actually provide observational evidence for gravitational waves. In the spring of 2014 Viatcheslav Mukhanov had already asserted that, if the theory is correct, then the BICEP2 and Planck teams could not both be right. Thus this latest Planck-BICEP2 analysis reassures us that the theoretical framework is well-founded. "Gravitational waves may well be there," he said then, "but clearly our instruments are not yet sensitive enough to pick them up." ­- Regardless of whether or not the search for primordial succeeds, he adds, no model that tries to capture the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang can now leave the quantum origin of the Universe's structure out.

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Benni
1 / 5 (16) Feb 05, 2015
"What exactly happened after the Universe was born? Why did stars, planets and huge galaxies form? These are the questions that concern Viatcheslav Mukhanov,"

So he thinks "the Universe was born"? I want the name of the mother. Another well known cosmologist previously posted a couple days ago on a topic about galaxies, that galaxies are "hims" (male).

That well known biologist who frequently posts here, maybe he can explain all this "gender affinity science" that pervades the Universe.

valeriy_polulyakh
1.3 / 5 (14) Feb 05, 2015
Instead of understanding the nature of the world on the basis of a set of real-world observations cosmologists are trying to impose to the nature their delusional fantasy.
movementiseternal
Feb 05, 2015
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Z99
1 / 5 (10) Feb 05, 2015
"beyond reasonable doubt" implies the NEED for an answer. We'll get "the" answer once all questions have been put to bed. Don't hold your breath. It's common for scientists to have healthy egos, so this should be recognized for what it is. We KNOW that ALL of our physics breaks down (or more correctly: is NOT correct) in the tiny fraction of a second 'after' the Creation event. So, it is not at all reasonable to claim that the model is now 'beyond' all doubt', regardless of whether some or all of its predictions have been verified, and regardless of the lack of better alternatives.
Humbled1
1.3 / 5 (16) Feb 05, 2015
If you fail to correctly predict the beginning then you have failed to predict everything else.
Humbled1
1.5 / 5 (16) Feb 05, 2015
If there are no gravitational waves then General Relativity has an error, which it likely does anyway.

If General Relativity is in error then everything that cosmology measurements are based on beyond a thousand light years or so becomes suspect again.
Bob one
1.2 / 5 (20) Feb 05, 2015
"New Scientist" published a paper signed by 33 secular cosmologists explaining what is wrong with the Big Bang theory. It was posted on line at cosmologystatement.org and additionally signed by hundreds of secular cosmologists.

Dr Hartnett showed that CMB (cosmic microwave background radiation) actually poses problems for the big bang and supports creationist cosmologies. One problem is that the CMB seems to indicate a preferred frame of reference, contrary to the basic assumption behind the big bang. Another is that the total mass density of the universe inferred observationally does not agree with the mass calculated from big bang theory. And this latest NASA report even said that the stars formed earlier (by their own dating methods) than previously predicted. Then there is the fact that the CMB is very smooth, contrary to big bang predictions. And so on. Creationist cosmology models do not have these problems.
Losik
Feb 06, 2015
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Losik
Feb 06, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.9 / 5 (11) Feb 06, 2015
"The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the birth of the universe.[1][2] [3]"

"The Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for the initial conditions of the Universe; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the Universe going forward from that point on."

"Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the Universe grew exponentially.[20]"

[ http://en.wikiped...Big_Bang ]

"The prevailing theory, cosmic inflation, does a good job explaining the observed flatness, homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe, as well as the absence of exotic relic particles (such as magnetic monopoles). In addition, it has made a crucial prediction that has been borne out by observation: that the primordial Universe would have tiny perturbations which seed the formation of structure in the later Universe."

[ http://en.wikiped...ormation ]
jimmyd
2.4 / 5 (9) Feb 06, 2015
The Origin of the Universe will remain inscrutable , if not for philosophical reasons then for the simple scientific reason- we cannot look back beyond 3 Planck Segments [10-37 sec.] after the Big bang . There is no known physics that can be applied beyond that point . There is no theory or hypotheses that can describe the condition of the Universe beyond that time .400,000 thousand years after the Big Bang explains nothing . Science is best served following Einsteins axiom - "to ameliorate the condition of mankind " .
Find a cure for the diseases that plague us , develop nuclear fusion for energy before we destroy the earth .
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (9) Feb 06, 2015
There is no theory or hypotheses that can describe the condition of the Universe beyond that time

That doesn't mean we can't come up with one - and potentially test it in a collider.

400,000 thousand years after the Big Bang explains nothing

You have to think of it a bit as in computed tomography. Can you look inside the human body? No. Can you get an immediate image of the 3D structure? No. But you can look at it one projection at a time and from the projections you can calculate what the whole looks like (to a certain degree of precision). Looking at the CMBR is like looking at such a projection. And from that we can infer what happened before.
viko_mx
1.5 / 5 (11) Feb 06, 2015
I am interested in one simple question. Why after the Big Myth (bang) the universe is expanding at variable speed according to the needs of imposed theory and the group of physicists who are supporting this theory? What caused this intelligent action? The cosmic consciousness sympathetic to these scientists?
Thirteenth Doctor
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 06, 2015

What caused this intelligent action?


Viko you have all the answers already. Why are you asking? It is your creator you said you had scientific evidence for but later told me that he will provide it to you but not Atheists. Then in the same thread admitted that you didn't have any evidence after years of searching.

Remember?

viko_mx
1 / 5 (5) Feb 08, 2015
I want to understand the way of thinking of these people which support this theory not with idea to decive other people but because their view of the world is built not without the help of phantasmagorias published in mass media.
ROBTHEGOB
1.8 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2015
There was no big bang.
richardwenzel987
5 / 5 (2) Feb 08, 2015
Just as virtual particles pop out of the vacuum, a vacuum permeated by a generic quantum field, so do universes-- it's just a matter of scale; the smaller the scale the greater the energy fluctuation, until you arrive at a point where universes bubble up in uncountable numbers. We need to understand that the quantum field is irreducible, and unbounded. It always was and always will be. It's the closest thing to pure BEING possible. Of course, I have no idea whether that is really the case or not, but the idea is strongly appealing.
Losik
Feb 09, 2015
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bluehigh
1 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2015
Just as virtual particles pop out of the vacuum ...

Just as Unicorns make double rainbows.

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