News of the WeekMICROWAVE BACKGROUND

Subtle Signals in Ancient Light Promise New View of Cosmos

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Science  27 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5590, pp. 2184
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5590.2184

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Summary

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS-- At a meeting here last week, physicists announced the first detection of polarization in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the light left over from the very early ages of the cosmos. The much-anticipated result is squarely in line with theoretical predictions, a sign that physicists' theories about the makeup and evolution of the universe are on track. The achievement also heralds the start of a new approach for deciphering the CMB.