Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chinese Water Torture, Or, How The Axis Of Evil Is Coming Back To Haunt Consensus Cosmology


A interesting paper (re)appeared on the preprint site a few days back, on August 26, 2013.

When you want to know about the Axis of Evil, how it has been claimed to be a foreground, a scanning beam error, a data reduction error, an artifact of the attempt to clean the CMB maps, etc.....

You will quickly find yourself looking very carefully for any papers on the subject from the team Copi, Huterer, Starkman, Schwarz.

These guys have been doing the heavy lifting on the Axis for years.

What is interesting about the new paper is that it is not new.

It is a revision.

The paper appeared in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society back in 2008.

Here is a very interesting excerpt:

"One is therefore placed between a rock and a hard place. If the WMAP ILC is a reliable reconstruction of the full-sky CMB, then there is overwhelming evidence (de Oliveira-Costa et al. (2004); Eriksen et al. (2004); Copi et al. (2004); Schwarz et al. (2004); Copi et al. (2006); Copi et al. (2007); Land & Magueijo (2005a,b,c,d); Raki ́c & Schwarz (2007); for a review see Huterer (2006)) of extremely unlikely phase alignments between (at least) the quadrupole and octopole and between these multipoles and the geometry of the Solar System — a violation of statistical isotropy that happens by random chance in far less than 0.025 per cent of random realizations of the standard cosmology.  If, on the other hand, the part of the ILC (and band maps) inside the Galaxy are unreliable as measurements of the true CMB, then the alignment of low-multipoles can- not be readily tested, but the magnitude of the two-point angular correlation function on large angular scales outside the Galaxy is smaller than would be seen in all but a few of every 10,000 realizations.

We can only conclude that (i) we don’t live in a standard ΛCDM Universe with a standard inflationary early history; (ii) we live in an extremely anomalous realization of that cosmology; (iii) there is a major error in the observations of both COBE and WMAP; or (iv) there is a major error in the reduction to maps performed by both COBE and WMAP. Whichever of these is correct, inferences from the large-angle data about precise values of the parameters of the standard cosmological model should be regarded with particular skepticism."

Nota bene: iii and iv are both ruled out by Planck. Which leaves i and ii :-)

My guess- it is no more than that- is that the Copi Huterer Starkman Schwarz team are about ready to come out with new papers incorporating the Planck data, and this revision is part of the groundwork.

Stay tuned!

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