Monday, September 22, 2014

Gravity wave evidence disappears into dust

Ars Technica reports Gravity wave evidence disappears into dust

"Earlier this year, researchers who used a telescope based at the South Pole called BICEP announced that they obtained evidence for gravity waves caused by the Big Bang itself. The results would provide direct evidence that a model of the Universe's origin called inflation had left its mark on the present-day Universe.

But in reporting on the results, our own Matthew Francis suggested that the discovery was not as definitive as it might be, writing 'the story of BICEP2, inflation, and primordial gravitational radiation is just beginning.' And since then, it became clear that there was a complicating factor—dusty material in our own galaxy—and that the BICEP team's way of controlling for it left a little something to be desired (it involved using processed data obtained from a PDF used in a conference presentation).

Yesterday, the team that put the PDF together in the first place released its own analysis. And they've determined that BICEP was probably staring at dust, rather than the earliest moments of the Universe."

1 comment:

The Dad said...

Dust most likely caused by members of Noah's tribe as they tracked and hunted dinosaurs for food to take with them on the ark. True story.