Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

Planck’s Big Year

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As one CMB satellite bows out, with the announcement of the final results form WMAP, the new year will see the rise of the next CMB experiment, Planck. You’ll still have to wait a bit longer for our results, though, since the big Planck cosmology conference (there have already been two Planck non-cosmology early results conferences) isn’t going to happen until early April. I’m part of the Planck team, so in theory I know something about what’s going on, but the rules and restrictions about what we can’t say to people outside the team are so strict (‘the first rule of Planck is you don’t talk about Planck’) that you won’t be hearing anything from me about anything until it’s public*.

Nevertheless, the anticipation is building. Jan Tauber, the Planck Project Scietist, has been picked as one of Nature’s Five to Watch in 2013, for example, and the BBC’s Jonathan Amos is keen to hear any rumour that might emerge, and has been pretty much since we launched.

Not that you’ll hear any of those here!

However, there is plenty of interesting stuff to do with the data that Planck has already been made public, and, fingers crossed, you might get to hear about some of that here before the big Planck Party in April.

* These policies are not universally supported. At a Planck meeting this year, for example, Rashid Sunyaev berated the Planck Science Team for establishing rules than meant we were getting scooped by ground based experiments like the SPT, while senior members of the Planck project have broken these rules without significant penalty. My own take on where such stringent rules will take science if this approach persists can be found here. It may be a work of fiction, but some of the Planck rules aren’t too far from my fictionalised satire.


Author: davecl

Astronomy, science, science fiction

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