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...While Planck dusts the skies for the fingerprints of inflation

...While Planck dusts the skies for the fingerprints of inflation

Publication date: 02 April 2009

Authors: A. Cho

Journal: Science
Volume: 324
Issue: 5927
Page: 584-586
Year: 2009

Copyright: AAAS

The big bang: The universe bursts into existence, an infinitely dense and hot soup of subatomic particles and radiation. In a fraction of a nanosecond, it doubles its size again and again, in a faster-than-light growth spurt known as inflation. That bizarre, hypothetical stretching evens out the universe but also sets off ripples in space and time called gravitational waves, which 13.7 billion years later should have left traces in the afterglow of the big bang, the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The 400 researchers working with the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Planck satellite hope to spot those traces - subtle patterns in the polarization of the microwaves called "B modes" -before anyone else does.

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