First Science from Planck

By Sean Carroll | January 11, 2011 3:12 pm

The Planck Surveyor satellite, a European mission to observe the cosmic microwave background (and various things that get in the way), has released its first science results. 25 papers in all!

I haven’t absorbed all the goodness as yet, so I’ll just point you to more interesting resources — e.g. blog posts by Peter Coles or Andrew Jaffe, or this BBC article if you prefer your media more mainstream. Note that these are not, for the most part, results about the cosmic microwave background and all the yummy cosmological goodness one hopes to derive therefrom. There’s a lot about dust in our own galaxy, as well as infrared emission from some of the very earliest galaxies in the universe. (Much of this is relevant, of course, to straightening out possible anomalies in the actual CMB.)

CMB results are expected circa January 2013. That’s when I’ll win my bet with Max Tegmark.

  • Ted Bunn

    I didn’t know about that bet. I don’t know what Max could’ve been thinking.

  • Proper Gander

    I can’t help but notice the “fsm” in the image title. Are the noodly appendages hiding somewhere?

  • Pingback: » Moar Tidbits Esoteric and godless musings from a locked away sage.()

  • David Brown

    Are D-branes relevant to physical observations? Do D-branes drain heat from the universe as they help to maintain the curling-up of extra superstring dimensions? Can orthodox M-theory explain dark matter, dark energy, space roar, the Pioneer anomaly, Milgrom’s Law, the CMB anisotropy, and the Koide formula? Can virtual Feynman diagrams and D-brane noise provide a satisfactory physical interpretation of orthodox M-theory?

    Physical Interpretation of M-theoretical D-Brane Physics: Dark matter is empirical evidence for neutralinos or other sterile dark matter particles predicted by orthodox M-theory. Dark energy is empirical evidence that D-brane noise exists. For some M-theoretical mathematical reason, D-branes drain heat from the universe and cause the empirical display of D-brane noise. Space roar might be empirical evidence that non-neutralino particles can decay into neutralinos. Space roar might be empirical evidence that neutralinos or similar particles undergo cycles of transition from electromagnetic noise to D-brane noise. The GZK paradox might be empirical evidence that D-brane noise is associated with events near black holes. The -1/2 in Einstein’s field equations is 100% correct but neutralinos or other dark matter matter particles are distributed so that an empirically heuristic distortion appears to occur for the field equations. The heuristic model consists of replacing the -1/2 in the field equations by -1/2 + dark-matter-compensation-constant/2. The cosmological constant in Einstein’s field equations should be equal to zero, but D-brane noise causes the cosmological constant to appear to have a small value representing energy that is gravitationally repulsive. In other words, D-branes cause empty neutralino shells to mysteriously appear in spacetime.

    At nks forum applied nks, I have posted quantitative explanations of space roar, the Rañada effect for the Pioneer anomaly, Milgrom’s Law, and the CMB anisotropy. The explanations were framed in terms of heretical M-theory but the explanations are mathematically isomorphic to explanations from orthodox M-theoretical D-brane physics.

  • Sean Peters

    Open letter to bloggers: if you include in your post a cryptic reference to some event that happened many months ago, with no information other than a link back to a multi-page blog post from that time, you may rest assured that I’m not going to get the reference. I (and I doubt I’m alone) just don’t have time to dig around that much.

    Would it have been so hard to just remind us of what your bet with Tegmark was about?


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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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