Cosmology

Universe inflation or dust emissions?

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Science  27 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6191, pp. 1477-1478
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6191.1477-e

Doubt enshrouds what was supposedly the biggest discovery in cosmology in a decade. In March, researchers working with BICEP2, a telescope at the South Pole, reported that the pinwheel swirls they saw in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background—the Big Bang's afterglow—came from gravitational waves rippling through the infant universe. That, they said, was the first direct evidence of an exponential growth spurt called inflation in the early universe. But others noted that the signal might emanate instead from dust in our galaxy. Now, in the published paper, Ade et al. write that their models of galactic dust “are not sufficiently constrained … to exclude the possibility of dust emission bright enough to explain the entire excess signal.”

Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 241101 (2014).

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