Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Properties of Your Universe

Here's just one of the papers containing the Planck results, with more authors than there stars in some globular clusters.

Besides the results I mentioned earlier, here are some of the big ones:

No evidence of cosmic strings

No evidence for more than three families of neutrinos: Neff = 3.30 ± 0.27 families, as are in the Standard Model. 

Upper limit on the sum of neutrino masses is 0.23 eV.

The Hubble constant, describing the expansion of the universe:

H0 = 67.3 ± 1.2 km/s/Mpc

More detailed results than you probably want to know about can be found here.

You can't help but be really impressed about how far cosmology has come and how much it's been able to tell about not just the overall structure and history of the universe, but about the parameters of elementary particles and their interaction. The last 35 years or so, since the dawn of cosmic inflation -- the exponential expansion of the very early universe -- have been a true scientific revolution. Alan Guth (at least) really ought to win a Nobel Prize now (in 2006, in the wake of the WMAP results, Sean Carrol said it was a little early still).

More: Cosmologist Richard Easther, who live-blogged NASA's announcement, has much more here.

P.S.: See, there is more to life than AGW.

No comments: