Big Bang breakthrough team allows they may be wrong

Recommended Posts


Washington (AFP) - American astrophysicists who announced just months ago what they deemed a breakthrough in confirming how the universe was born now admit they may have got it wrong.

The team said it had identified gravitational waves that apparently rippled through space right after the Big Bang.

If proven to be correctly identified, these waves -- predicted in Albert Einstein's theory of relativity -- would confirm the rapid and violent growth spurt of the universe in the first fraction of a second marking its existence, 13.8 billion years ago.

The apparent first direct evidence of such so-called cosmic inflation -- a theory that the universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times in barely the blink of an eye -- was announced in March by experts at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The detection was made with the help of a telescope called BICEP2, stationed at the South Pole.

After weeks in which they avoided the media, the team published its work Thursday in the US journal Physical Review Letters.

In a summary, the team said their models "are not sufficiently constrained by external public data to exclude the possibility of dust emission bright enough to explain the entire excess signal," as stated by other scientists who questioned their conclusion.

The team was led by astrophysicist John Kovac of Harvard.

BICEP2 stands for Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization.

"Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today," Kovac, leader of the BICEP2 collaboration at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said back in March.

By observing the cosmic microwave background, or a faint glow left over from the Big Bang, the scientists said small fluctuations gave them new clues about the conditions in the early universe.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah well, such is Science. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By nunesgh
      This week in science: Should our universe exist?
      by Gabriel Nunes

      This week in science is a review of the most interesting scientific news of the past week.

      Should our universe exist?

      It seems absurd, but based on current scientific data, physicists have concluded that our universe should not exist. This conclusion comes from newly obtained results from the measurement of the magnetic moment of an antiproton. The magnetic moment of a particle is responsible for how it interacts with magnetic fields, while an antiproton is the proton’s antimatter equivalent particle.

      Physicists from the Baryon–Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) at CERN were responsible for measuring the magnetic moment of the antiproton with up to nine significant digits, obtaining the value of −2.7928473441 μN, where μN is a constant called the nuclear magneton. Interestingly, except for the negative sign, this is the exact same value obtained for the measurement of the magnetic moment of the proton, which was achieved by the same team of physicists back in 2014.

      The standard model predicts that equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang. But because matter and antimatter annihilate one another whenever they come into contact, nothing should have been left from the Big Bang to create everything around us. That is the reason why physicists are constantly searching for differences between matter and antimatter, apart from that negative sign. But so far, all they have found is symmetry. As stated by Christian Smorra, a physicist at CERN’s BASE collaboration:

      This recent measurement of the magnetic moment of the antiproton is a major milestone not only because it was never done before, but also because of the difficulty imposed by the experimental methods applied. To isolate antiprotons, the team had to use a combination of two Penning traps, a kind of device that employs magnetic and electric fields to contain a material. This was necessary because no physical container can hold antimatter, which would instantly react with it, and only one Penning trap would reduce the antimatter’s lifetime.

      Now, the scientific community is waiting for results from another CERN team, from the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) experiment. This team last year probed an antihydrogen atom with light only to find no difference between it and the hydrogen atom. But this time, the ALPHA team is studying the effects of gravity on antimatter. Would antimatter ‘fall up’ or, again, ‘fall down’ as the common matter?

      Source: Cosmos Magazine

      Einstein’s theory on happy living sold for $1.56 million

      It was 1922 when Albert Einstein, already aware that he was to receive the Nobel Prize for physics, gifted two notes to a courier in Tokyo. The physicist, who was already famous for his theory of relativity, was in Japan on a lecture tour, staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

      One of the notes, on the stationery of the Imperial Hotel, stated what is being called Einstein’s theory of happy living, in which he wrote that "a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest”. The other note, on an otherwise blank piece of paper, simply reads: "where there's a will, there's a way”.

      Both notes were put to auction by a relative of the messenger, who added that Einstein didn't want the messenger to leave empty-handed, even though that was the local practice, and told him that "maybe, if you're lucky, those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip".

      The note on the stationery of the Imperial Hotel was expected to be auctioned for up to $8,000, but in the end, it was sold for $1.56 million. The other note was sold for $240,000. As stated by the seller:

      Both notes were previously unknown to researchers, and even though none of them carry any sort of scientific value, they can help us understand the private thoughts of one of the most important scientists in our history.


    • By Draggendrop
      A place to put news articles concerning "bodies,events, theory" which are beyond the Solar System......
      First placement......
      UA researchers capture first photo of planet in making

      Image shows a composite where blue represents the MagAO data taken at H-alpha, and green and red show the LBT data taken at Ks and L' bands. The greyscale is a previously published millimeter image of the disk. Image courtesy Stephanie Sallum.
      This is the first time to see a planet form......and hopefully there will be other times in the future...... 
    • By Unobscured Vision
      So it's not so much a "Matrix" as it is "Quantum Superposition of matter". The illusion of distance. That's really, really interesting.
      Take one of those old Projection televisions from the late 70's and early 80's ... remember, with the three different-coloured emitters that you were never to look directly into? The actual image was generated on those emitters, but we saw the combined image on that funny curved screen. The new findings say the Universe works something like that -- we're seeing a projection (via Quantum Superposition) onto Curved Space (the "Screen").
    • By Unobscured Vision
      Ooh, that should be a very interesting round of experimentation and testing, whether they find something or not. Even if they don't, they'll probably unlock a few new fundamental subatomic particles and quite a few interactions that haven't been seen before.
      On the other hand, if they do get the "mini black holes", the energy they find them at will be the most telling of all. Most Theoretical Physicists agree that 10 Dimensions is the maximum, but if they find more, then the energies will tell them that too ...
      Exciting times, folks.