|Asunto:||[debunker] Buenas nuevas para el Modelo Inflacionario.|
|Fecha:|| 1 de Mayo, 2001 08:54:47 (+0200)|
|Autor:||El Ciberescéptico <El @..............org>
Con esto alquien saltará diciendo: "conspiración, conspiración..." ya la mayoría
saben quién. Y probablemente alguien más salga con: "machismo, machismo...",
bueno, no muy probable lo acepto. Pero qué lástima que Illuminati haya acabado
con tan bonita relación que tenía con Francisca al hacer comentarios machistas
hace poco. En fin, todo cambia Illu, aunque parezca que tú apenas te diste
April 30, 2001
Listen Closely: From Tiny Hum Came Big Bang
By JAMES GLANZ
WASHINGTON, April 29 — Two detectors in Antarctica have discovered minute
patterns in a glow from primordial gases, possible traces of the cosmic match
that ignited the Big Bang and led to the creation of the universe 14 billion
years ago, astronomers announced here today.
The patterns, astronomers said, were probably created by microscopic
processes — energy fluctuations at the quantum scale — that were at work when
the universe was a tiny fraction of a second old and smaller than a human fist.
The new observations do not see the quantum fluctuations directly, but
instead have found traces of colossal waves, much like sound waves, that the
fluctuations probably set in motion, roiling the young universe.
The results rest on the most detailed observations ever made of a glow
from the hot gases of the early universe. That glow, called cosmic microwave
background radiation, carried an imprint of those waves to the detectors on
The news comes as a relief for astronomers, some of whom started to
worry last year that their basic picture of the origins of the universe might be
flawed, after detailed observations failed to find the wave patterns.
"We see the structure of the universe in its infancy," said Dr. John
Carlstrom, a University of Chicago astrophysicist who leads the team operating
the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer, or DASI (pronounced daisy), a microwave
detector at a South Pole research station operated by the National Science
Dr. Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago who was
not involved in the measurements, said that the precise time the fluctuations
took place remained to be determined by future measurements, but that the process
was likely to have taken place in a fraction of a second comparable to a decimal
point followed by 32 zeros
and a 1.
"We are living in the most exciting time ever in cosmology," he added.
Besides DASI, which also involved astronomers at the California
Institute of Technology, the announcement today included the so-called Boomerang
team. This group flew a balloon-borne detector around Antarctica, and includes
astronomers from the United States, Italy, Canada and Britain. Antarctica is
excellent for such observations because the air is thin and dry and does not
strongly absorb microwave
Dr. John Ruhl of the University of California at Santa Barbara presented results
today for the Boomerang team. The announcements took place at a meeting of the
American Physical Society.
The Antarctica studies were buttressed today when another group of
researchers reported that they had made less distinct observations of the wave
patterns from the United States. That team, called Maxima, includes astronomers
at the University of Minnesota and the University of California at Berkeley.
The leading theory of how the universe could have exploded out of the
primordial nothingness, known as the theory of inflation, predicts that the
quantum fluctuations should have rattled the universe in such a way that it
resonated like a vast organ pipe, with one main tone, or wavelength, and a series
of overtones or harmonics.
Last year, the Boomerang team detected the main tone but found no clear
evidence for the overtones, raising the possibility that the inflation theory
could be wrong. Since much of the information about the fluctuations, like their
relative intensity and spectrum, would reside in the characteristics of the
overtones, those results raised the prospect that few remnants of the initial
spark might be found.
Today, the three teams announced that they had seen two of the
overtones for the first time. In musical terms, the observations saw the first
two harmonics above the main tone.
"We do see two more bumps and wiggles out there," Dr. Ruhl said. "We
can move to the question of, `What do these bumps and wiggles tell us?' "
Dr. Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the University of Pennsylvania, said
that while the new results were still far from absolute proof of the inflation
theory, their agreement with the theory was uncanny and would cast doubt on
alternative models. "It's even scary that things agree this well," he said. "This
is a very bad day for the competition."
Some other scientists, including Dr. Andrew Lange of Caltech, a leader
of the Boomerang group, said the results strikingly showed that cosmologists
understood the composition and behavior of the universe in the first few hundred
thousand years of its life. It was then that the sound waves were humming through
the young cosmos; astronomers believe the microwave background radiation was
emitted as the universe
cooled below a critical temperature when it was about 400,000 years
"We've really been waiting for the other shoe to drop," Dr. Lange said
in reference to the lengthy search for the overtones. "What we're confirming for
the first time is a very generic prediction of modern cosmology."
Although astronomers said much more detailed observations, including
the discovery of further overtones, would be required to define the quantum
fluctuations and to verify inflation, the results are likely to be seen as major
victories for two scientists in particular.
The first, Dr. Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
developed the germ of the inflation model in 1980, a theory he has called "the
ultimate free lunch" because it shows how the entire universe could have exploded
out of nothing and impressed the quantum fluctuations on the cosmos.
The results also provide major support for ideas closely associated
with Dr. David Schramm, a Chicago cosmologist who died in a plane crash late in
1997. Dr. Schramm and his colleagues worked out a theory, unrelated to inflation,
using trace elements created in the Big Bang explosion to gauge the amount of
ordinary matter in the universe.
Those values agree closely with the amounts deduced from the intensity
of the sound wave overtones; that intensity is affected by the sloshing of
matter in the sound waves' peaks and troughs.
On the other hand, the results also leave cosmologists with some deep
and perhaps troubling questions.
For example, the new observations confirm that most of the cosmos seems
to be made of so-called dark matter and dark energy, possibly particles or
energy lurking somewhere in space but still never detected directly. Dr. Turner,
of Chicago, said skeptics might well term that picture "the absurd universe, or
the preposterous universe."
Sir Martin Rees, an astrophysicist at Cambridge University, said
scientists were left with the question of whether fundamental physical laws
would someday explain that strange mixture of ingredients, or whether the precise
amounts were a sort of accident of how the universe came into being — something
like snowflakes, each of which has
a hexagonal symmetry but carries a pattern that is otherwise unique.
"It may well turn out that the underlying laws do not give us these
numbers, any more than they give the detailed pattern of a snowflake," Sir
Copyright 2001 The New York Times
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