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Last Week's Announcement About Gravitational Waves and Inflation May Be Wrong 194

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "If you've been living under a stone, you might not have heard last week's announcement that astrophysicists from the BICEP2 experiment have found the first evidence of two extraordinary things. The first is primordial gravitational waves--ripples in spacetime from the very first moments after the Big Bang. The second is that these waves are evidence of inflation, the theory that the universe expanded rapidly, by twenty orders of magnitude in the blink of an eye after the Big Bang. But that can only be possible if the gravitational waves formed before inflation occurred. Now critics have begun to mutter that the waves might have formed later and so provide no evidence of inflation. The new thinking is that as the universe cooled down after inflation, various phase changes occurred in the Universe which generated the laws of physics we see today. These phase changes would have been violent events that generated their own ripples in space time, which would look very much like the primordial gravitational waves that the BICEP2 team claims to have found. So the BICEP2 team must rule out this possibility before they can claim evidence of inflation. But the critics say the data does not yet allow this to be done. That doesn't mean inflation didn't occur. Indeed, the critics say this is still the most likely explanation. But until the phase change possibility is ruled out, the result must be considered ambiguous. So put the champagne back in the fridge."
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Last Week's Announcement About Gravitational Waves and Inflation May Be Wrong

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  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @09:35AM (#46563057) Journal
    Look at what that champagne (& other stuff) cost you last week compared to a few years ago; that's proof of inflation right there...
  • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @09:43AM (#46563133)
    We are just going to have to recreate another big bang and then see what happens and therefore settle this debate once and for all.
  • This is un-provable and wild and rampant speculation. Keep twisting the evidence to support your beliefs, meanwhile I will worship God and be granted life Everlasting. You, on the other hand, will burn in the Pit.

    Have you heard the bitchin' news?! I reject your god because I don't need some elitist hipster cloud club. I've had my fill of standing in lines and getting judged at the door in this life, screw doing it again in the next. So, I bought my front-row ticket to the hottest show in Earth because all the good bands and fun people will be there.

    You may be interested in my pamphlet, "So, you've decided to go to Hell."

  • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <.moc.edargorter- ... . .xetroCxetroV.> on Monday March 24, 2014 @10:40AM (#46563537)

    Now imagine phase changes on a multiversal scale. All those infinite chaotic dimensions then BLAM a few align such that their properties harmonize and propagate in a brilliant momentary flash before returning to chaos time and again like fireworks and then the energy density becomes low enough that the explosions stop among some dimensions and yet occur among others, and one of those final big bangs was this universe wherein at the smallest levels of reality we see the infinitely differentiable quantum uncertain foam from which chaotic energy crystallizes into matter momentarily and is destroyed in tiny little flashes, like fireworks, before returning to the chaos.

    Now imagine phase changes on a gigaversal scale... For this experiment beings aware of less than 12 dimensions will need a visual aid. You'll need to wrap your cognitive locus in tin-foil and have access to an old microwave oven. A turn table is optional -- it's the lamp and timer's "Ding" that's most important.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"