Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An inconsistent CMB?

from Blank On The Map

When the Planck science team announced their results in March, they also put out a great flood of papers. You can find the list here; there are 29 of them, plus an explanatory statement.

Except if you look carefully, only 28 of the papers have actually been released. Paper XI, 'Consistency of the data', is still listed as "in preparation". Now, what this paper was supposed to cover was the question of how consistent Planck results were with previous CMB experiments, such as WMAP. We already knew that there were some inconsistencies, both in the derived cosmological parameters such as  the dark energy density and the Hubble parameter, and in the overall normalization of the power seen on large scales. We might expect this missing paper to tell us the reason for the inconsistencies, and perhaps to indicate which experiment got it wrong (if any). The problem is that at present there is no indication when we can expect this paper to arrive – when asked, members of the Planck team only say "soon". I presume that the reason for the delay is that they are having some unforeseen difficulty in the analysis.

However, if you were paying attention last week, you might have noticed a new submission to the arXiv that provided an interesting little insight into what might be going on.

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