New analysis of universe’s beginning also confirms that puzzles remain
A new analysis of the universe’s first light has cosmologists simultaneously patting themselves on the back and scratching on their chalkboards. The results, obtained from the Planck satellite and posted online in February in a set of papers at arXiv.org, largely support the theoretical framework that cosmologists employ to describe the universe. But there are also some puzzling findings, hinted at in previous research, that could signal undiscovered physical phenomena.
“The old model of the universe is doing remarkably well,” says Shaun Hotchkiss, a cosmologist at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. “But everything that was anomalous in the past is still anomalous.” The Planck results also have a lot to say about inflation, the theorized period just after the Big Bang in which the universe swelled rapidly.
Cosmologists can describe the universe reasonably well with a model based on