Tag Archives: cmb

Ultracold Big Bang experiment successfully simulates evolution of early universe

Physicists have reproduced a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation in a laboratory simulation of the Big Bang, using ultracold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the University of Chicago.

“This is the first time an experiment like this has simulated the evolution of structure in the early universe,” said Cheng Chin, professor in physics. Chin and his associates reported their feat in the Aug. 1 edition of Science Express, and it will appear soon in the print edition of Science. (more…)

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First Stars, Galaxies Formed more Rapidly than Expected

Analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s South Pole Telescope, for the first time, more precisely defines the period of cosmological evolution when the first stars and galaxies formed and gradually illuminated the universe. The data indicate that this period, called the epoch of reionization, was shorter than theorists speculated — and that it ended early.

“We find that the epoch of reionization lasted less than 500 million years and began when the universe was at least 250 million years old,” said Oliver Zahn, a postdoctoral fellow at the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the study. “Before this measurement, scientists believed that reionization lasted 750 million years or longer, and had no evidence as to when reionization began.” (more…)

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NSF’s South Pole Telescope Discovers a Galaxy Cluster Creating Stars at a Record Pace

Researchers say Phoenix Cluster activity may cause scientists to rethink how galaxies evolve

A National Science Foundation-funded radio telescope in Antarctica has found an extraordinary galaxy cluster that may force astronomers to rethink how galaxy clusters and the galaxies that inhabit them evolve.

The galaxy cluster was discovered some 5.7 billion light years from Earth by the 10-meter wide South Pole Telescope (SPT) located at NSF’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, which is funded by NSF’s Office of Polar Programs. (more…)

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Clocking an Accelerating Universe: First Results from BOSS

Berkeley Lab scientists are the leaders of BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. They and their colleagues in the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey have announced the most precise measurements ever made of the era when dark energy turned on.

Some six billion light years distant, almost halfway from now back to the big bang, the universe was undergoing an elemental change. Held back until then by the mutual gravitational attraction of all the matter it contained, the universe had been expanding ever more slowly. Then, as matter spread out and its density decreased, dark energy took over and expansion began to accelerate.

Today BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), announced the most accurate measurement yet of the distance scale of the universe during the era when dark energy turned on. (more…)

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First Observational Test of the ‘Multiverse’

The theory that our universe is contained inside a bubble, and that multiple alternative universes exist inside their own bubbles – making up the ‘multiverse’ – is, for the first time, being tested by physicists.

Two research papers published in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review D are the first to detail how to search for signatures of other universes. Physicists are now searching for disk-like patterns in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation – relic heat radiation left over from the Big Bang – which could provide tell-tale evidence of collisions between other universes and our own. (more…)

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