General science stories

New CMB Results from BICEP1

Likelihood for Parameter r Calculated from BICEP1 B-mode Measurement

Last week we published new results from the BICEP1 Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization experiment. (Disclaimer: I'm a coauthor of the paper.) BICEP1 is the first in a series of experiments at the South Pole searching for the signal of cosmological Inflation in the CMB. BICEP1 took data in 2006--2008, but this is the first result to include all three years of data.

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Up Goer: "Inflation"

Inspired by xkcd's Up Goer Five, I attempted to explain my research using only the ten hundred most common English words. It was pretty hard.

I try to find out what caused the beginning of everything. We think we know what happened back in time until almost the beginning. We know it was very hot then and that everything was moving away from everything else very fast. We have a good idea that explains how it got that way. The idea is called "inflation."

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Detection of CMB B-mode Polarization by SPT

Last week, members of the South Pole Telescope (SPT) collaboration reported the first detection of B-mode polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Scientists have been searching for B-mode polarization for over a decade because it offers an opportunity to study all the matter in the Universe and the cause of the Big Bang.

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New Results from AMS, Speculation on Dark Matter

Photo of AMS on International Space Station

Last month the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) team reported a new measurement of positrons in cosmic rays (journal article, less technical summary and commentary). The results imply that new, not yet understood physical processes are producing more positrons than expected at high energies.

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