Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

Planck Blogging


The astrophysical bloggerati are getting their comments out on the Planck results, so for interesting commentary see for example:

There were also media appearances by our own Prof Andrew Jaffe on Channel 4 News last night (you can still get that for a few hours via 4OD – his spot is right at the end of the programme, starting about 46 minutes in) – and Oxord’s Dr Jo Dunkley on Radio 4’s The Material World.

To quote Andy Lawrence, Planck seems to have shown us that ‘The Universe is EVEN MORE BORING than WMAP told us. Perfect fit to simple inflation.’ The few disagreements with that perfect fit were originally hinted at by WMAP, known as the ‘cold spot’ and the ‘axis of evil’. The rough alignment between the plane of the ecliptic and the ‘axis of evil’ is a little suspicious, suggesting that this is a foreground effect due to dust in our own solar system, and might hint that more sophisticated models of the zodiacal dust are needed.

Interestingly, such an improved model is already available thanks to Rowan-Robinson and May. It will be interesting to see what effect that has on the Planck data.


Author: davecl

Astronomy, science, science fiction

3 thoughts on “Planck Blogging

  1. I knew Brian would eventually prove to have a useful talent

  2. I’m pretty sure that the Grun in the references of the Rowan-Robinson and May paper should be Grün (occasionally spelled Gruen by those without proper fonts). (A student of Grün attended my wedding. How cool is that? I’m almost in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now!) Someone please tell the authors to correct this! Now, as a hard-rock guitarist, I can understand that perhaps May doesn’t want to be associated with the heavy-metal umlaut, but in the case of Grün the umlaut is not gratuitous. Actually, considering that Lord Rees remarked that he had never met anyone who looked so much like Isaac Newton, May should go for the umlaut since it reminds one of Newton’s calculus notation for the second derivative, whereas Leibniz had the other notation (which is perhaps used more often today). (Perhaps, as a German, the double-dot notation would have been confusing since it could be confused with an umlaut.)

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