December 12, 2010
Debate about the patterns in the microwave background radiation
There is continuing debate about Penrose/Gurzadyan claim of evidence of a universe before the big bang
Nature - three groups reproduced Gurzadyan's analysis of the WMAP (microwave background) data and all agree that the data do contain low-variance circles. Where they part company with the earlier work is in the significance that they attribute to these circles.
* the WMAP data clearly show that there are far more hot and cold spots at smaller angular scales, and that it is therefore wrong to assume that the microwave sky is isotropic. All three groups searched for circular variance patterns in simulations of the cosmic microwave background that assume the basic properties of the inflationary Universe, and all found circles that are very similar to the ones in the WMAP data.
"The result obtained by Gurzadyan and Penrose does not in any way provide evidence for Penrose's cyclical model of the Universe over standard inflation," says Zibin.
Gurzadyan dismisses the critical analyses as "absolutely trivial", arguing that there is bound to be agreement between the standard cosmological model and the WMAP data "at some confidence level" but that a different model, such as Penrose's, might fit the data "even better" " — a point he makes in a response to the three critical papers also posted on arXiv5. However, he is not prepared to state that the circles constitute evidence of Penrose's model. "We have found some signatures that carry properties predicted by the model," he says.
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