Harvard-Smithsonian B-Mode observation confirmed

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Harvard-Smithsonian B-Mode observation confirmed

#1  Postby hackenslash » Mar 16, 2014 9:51 pm

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has news so big it announced that it would announce something. The press conference will stream live tomorrow at noon, but cosmologists everywhere are gossiping about what that news could be. The leading theory: Scientists have detected gravitational waves, in what would be a landmark discovery for the field of physics.


Continues...

An article on Gravitational Waves by Sean Carroll

Edit: Edited title to update status
Last edited by hackenslash on Mar 17, 2014 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#2  Postby Ironclad » Mar 16, 2014 9:57 pm

In an attempt to sound like I know something for a change: aren't these the folk controlling Kepler, the programme seeking Earth-like planets?
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#3  Postby hackenslash » Mar 16, 2014 10:05 pm

It's the last remaining untested prediction of General Relativity, and it has some interesting consequences. Firstly, it can provide a window past our current observational limit of 380,000 years after the onset of expansion, because the universe was opaque to photons until that time. A workable gravitational wave observatory could potentially allow observation all the way back to the Planck time.

Also, dependent on the specific nature of the gravitational waves, some cosmologies can be falsified, such as the 'brane-worlds' model of Turok and Steinhardt.
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#4  Postby minininja » Mar 17, 2014 12:13 am

:popcorn:
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#5  Postby orpheus » Mar 17, 2014 2:47 am

:popcorn:

(Uncle Orph'sTM popcorn - "a surprise in every box" )
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#6  Postby DougC » Mar 17, 2014 2:57 am

:popcorn:
(We are going to look like a bunch of twats if its a new range of Merchandise.)
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#7  Postby THWOTH » Mar 17, 2014 9:05 am

:wave: <-- gravatational wave
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#8  Postby Made of Stars » Mar 17, 2014 9:17 am

An article about this speculation at Universe Today:

“If a detection has been made, it is extraordinarily exciting,” Andrew Jaffe, a cosmologist from Imperial College, London, told the Guardian. “This is the real big tick-box that we have been waiting for. It will tell us something incredibly fundamental about what was happening when the universe was only 10-34 seconds old.”
But even if the rumors prove true, it’s crucial to remain skeptical. Extracting the signal is extremely tricky. The CMB’s temperature varies by a few parts in 100,000. In comparison, B-modes account for just one part in 10 million in the CMB temperature distribution.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/110353/rum ... z2wD0P6wow
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#9  Postby Fallible » Mar 17, 2014 9:19 am

:eager:
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#10  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 10:26 am

Ironclad wrote:In an attempt to sound like I know something for a change: aren't these the folk controlling Kepler, the programme seeking Earth-like planets?


They are, yes. One of the things Carroll mentioned in his blog about what the announcement might concern is finding extraterrestrial life...
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#11  Postby Ironclad » Mar 17, 2014 10:40 am

:awesome:
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#12  Postby minininja » Mar 17, 2014 10:40 am

hackenslash wrote:
Ironclad wrote:In an attempt to sound like I know something for a change: aren't these the folk controlling Kepler, the programme seeking Earth-like planets?


They are, yes. One of the things Carroll mentioned in his blog about what the announcement might concern is finding extraterrestrial life...

That would be so awesome - not particularly for the science, but for what it would mean to people. Gravitational waves would be unlikely to have much effect on the world outside of physics - even if it lead to vast new understandings, it would likely go over the heads of most people in the world. But a discovery of life on another planet is a story simple enough that people couldn't easily ignore it (thought I'm sure Ken Ham still would). It's something that could have a very unifying effect on the world.
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#13  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 10:45 am

I'd love the aliens, but give me the gravitational waves any day. I realise that this is because cosmology is my thing, and being able to narrow the field a bit would be a big leap forward, but there you go.

Incidentally, the other possibility that Carroll mentioned is direct detection of Dark Matter, which would also be extremely cool.
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#14  Postby Fallible » Mar 17, 2014 10:47 am

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#15  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 17, 2014 11:44 am

Anybody got a link for the live stream?
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#16  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 12:08 pm

I'll try to find one. There's hours yet. It's due about noon Eastern time (US).

Edit: It will be at the following link:

http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/news_conferences.html

About 4PM UTC.
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#17  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Mar 17, 2014 12:10 pm

:excited:
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#18  Postby Spinozasgalt » Mar 17, 2014 12:14 pm

I bet they've discovered moral facts. That's my bet. This is probably going to be an announcement about moral realism. I've been telling you all. Haven't I been telling you all? Get ready to be relegated to history, nihilists!
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#19  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2014 12:17 pm

:rofl:

New laptop required.
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Re: Harvard-Smithsonian announcement pending...

#20  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 17, 2014 12:22 pm

hackenslash wrote:I'll try to find one. There's hours yet. It's due about noon Eastern time (US).

Edit: It will be at the following link:

http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/news_conferences.html

About 4PM UTC.


Coolio - I found that page too but didn't think it looked too promising as a location for the live stream. Maybe it's the ticket though.
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