Cosmologists Celebrate the Death of Defects

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Science  24 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5338, pp. 574
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5338.574

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Cosmologists are sounding the death knell for one of the two main theories vying to explain how the universe unfolded in the fraction of a second after the big bang. Based on measurements of the cosmic microwave background, the radio hiss that reveals the contours of the early universe, the cosmological model known as defect theory has itself been found to be defective. Far from discouraging theorists, however, the news is seen as heralding a new era in which cosmologists can test their theories against data from new generations of ground- and space-based instruments.