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Old 03-17-06, 11:23 AM   #1
movielib
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Big Bang Inflation proved?

http://www.wired.com/news/wireservic...l?tw=rss.index

Quote:
Proving How the Universe Was Born

Associated Press 11:26 AM Mar 16, 2006 EST

Physicists announced Thursday that they now have the smoking gun that shows the universe went through extremely rapid expansion in the moments after the big bang, growing from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space in less than a trillion-trillionth of a second.

The discovery -- which involves an analysis of variations in the brightness of microwave radiation -- is the first direct evidence to support the two-decade-old theory that the universe went through what is called inflation.

It also helps explain how matter eventually clumped together into planets, stars and galaxies in a universe that began as a remarkably smooth, super-hot soup.

"It's giving us our first clues about how inflation took place," said Michael Turner, assistant director for mathematics and physical sciences at the National Science Foundation. "This is absolutely amazing."

Brian Greene, a Columbia University physicist, said: "The observations are spectacular and the conclusions are stunning."

Researchers found the evidence for inflation by looking at a faint glow that permeates the universe. That glow, known as the cosmic microwave background, was produced when the universe was about 300,000 years old -- long after inflation had done its work.

But just as a fossil tells a paleontologist about long-extinct life, the pattern of light in the cosmic microwave background offers clues about what came before it. Of specific interest to physicists are subtle brightness variations that give images of the microwave background a lumpy appearance.

Physicists presented new measurements of those variations during a news conference at Princeton University. The measurements were made by a space-borne instrument called the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, or WMAP, launched by NASA in 2001.

Earlier studies of WMAP data have determined that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, give or take a few hundred thousand years. WMAP also measured variations in the cosmic microwave background so huge that they stretch across the entire sky. Those earlier observations are strong indicators of inflation, but no smoking gun, said Turner, who was not involved in the research.

The new analysis looked at variations in the microwave background over smaller patches of sky -- only billions of light-years across, instead of hundreds of billions.

Without inflation, the brightness variations over small patches of the sky would be the same as those observed over larger areas of the heavens. But the researchers found considerable differences in the brightness variations.

"The data favors inflation," said Charles Bennett, a Johns Hopkins University physicist who announced the discovery. He was joined by two Princeton colleagues, Lyman Page and David Spergel, who also contributed to the research.

Bennett added: "It amazes me that we can say anything at all about what transpired in the first trillionth of a second of the universe."

The physicists said small lumps in the microwave background began during inflation. Those lumps eventually coalesced into stars, galaxies and planets.

The measurements are scheduled to be published in a future issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
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Old 03-17-06, 11:44 AM   #2
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Wouldn't this disprove the notion that matter cannot travel faster than light?
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Old 03-17-06, 12:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Wouldn't this disprove the notion that matter cannot travel faster than light?
Science can be wrong, and often is.
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Old 03-17-06, 12:07 PM   #4
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i read a book where an english physicist theorizes that in those days light travelled at a different speed than it does today. there are a bunch of variations of this theory today
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Old 03-17-06, 12:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Wouldn't this disprove the notion that matter cannot travel faster than light?
Not really. The inflation period takes place prior to when the physics of the universe would be "set." So while you could say that matter can travel faster than light prior to 1X10^-13 (I forget the exact number) seconds after creation, it wouldn't really be helpful beyond that.

There is Mexican physicist that has shown mathmatically that you can go faster than the speed of light, but the energy to do so is roughly equal to a billion suns.
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Old 03-17-06, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvrdave
Not really. The inflation period takes place prior to when the physics of the universe would be "set." So while you could say that matter can travel faster than light prior to 1X10^-13 (I forget the exact number) seconds after creation, it wouldn't really be helpful beyond that.

There is Mexican physicist that has shown mathmatically that you can go faster than the speed of light, but the energy to do so is roughly equal to a billion suns.
Damn. Stupid physics.
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Old 03-17-06, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy
i read a book where an english physicist theorizes that in those days light travelled at a different speed than it does today. there are a bunch of variations of this theory today
I've read a fair amount of that type of stuff as well. Young Earth Creationists often try to appeal to that to explain why we see stars billions of light years away in a universe that is only thousands of years old. Fortunately, there has been some decent research on this and it is measurable. The last that I saw showed an upper limit of the speed of light variation to be around 8% over the past 8 billion years (roughly). But that is just an upper limit with the tools we have today, and that amount could very easily be found to be zero or near zero, just like when Hubble gave us a lower limit that the universe must be at least 2 billion years old based on the expansion and red shift he noted. He suspected it was much older, but the tools of the day only gave him the ability to find a limit. Same idea.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:19 PM   #8
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this is the one i read

he's a professor at a university in england, forgot which one

he mentions other scientists that he's worked with who came up with different theories as well. He made up a bunch of models just by changing the possible speeds of light. But nothing will be proven until it's going to be observed.
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Old 03-17-06, 03:28 PM   #9
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I read this one:



das
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Old 03-17-06, 03:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by das Monkey
I read this one:



das
I thought the term was "airhead"
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