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Axis of Evil

  1. Jul 12, 2014 #1

    DavidSnider

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    Does the existence of the "Axis of Evil" observed by WMAP and Planck mean that there is a special frame of reference in the universe?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2014 #2

    phinds

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    I think it just means there's something we haven't figured out yet, not that there is a preferred direction in the universe. That would violate the Cosmological Principle and there would be hell to pay :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  4. Jul 12, 2014 #3

    DavidSnider

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    What sort of evidence would be required to show that the Cosmological Principle is wrong?
     
  5. Jul 12, 2014 #4

    phinds

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    I don't have a good answer for that, but the 2 principles of the CP are very clear and solid evidence that either was wrong would tube the whole concept.
     
  6. Jul 12, 2014 #5

    Chronos

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    Controversy over the 'axis of evil' has continued since it was first identified. Even Land and Magueijo have tempered their enthusiasm - re: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0611518, The Axis of Evil revisited. One of the more interesting papers I've seen was http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.0453, The axis of evil - a polarization perspective. The authors concluded Planck polarization data may resolve the issue. Just another reason to look forward to the Planck polarization data release.
     
  7. Jul 13, 2014 #6

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Just another patchwork.
     
  8. Jul 13, 2014 #7

    phinds

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    So, do you think the Cosmological Principle is wrong ?
     
  9. Jul 13, 2014 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    Let's back up a bit.

    • The Cosmological Principle is a statistical statement. As a trivial example, we live on a planet, a very atypical place.
    • The Axis is a rather odd feature, but (if real) it's not wildly improbable. One problem cosmologists face is something called "cosmic variance", but it basically means there is only one sky. If you see a feature you would only expect half the time, what do you conclude? 5% of the time? 1% of the time? Once in a million?
    • There exist similar odd features, like Stephen Hawking's initials. This just shows the futility of a posteriori probabilities.
    • The issue of foreground contamination is not settled. This is one of those cases in science where one faction insists that it's settled in one direction, and the other faction says it's settled in the other.
     
  10. Jul 13, 2014 #9

    TumblingDice

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    Stepping out of the trees to see the forest is SO integral to understanding!

    An excellent breakout of fundamental aspects from my perspective. I'd like to touch base on foreground contamination, but don't want to hijack the thread and can open a new post if req'd. Several months ago I stumbled across a 'breakdown' of the processing steps involved in extracting CMB results/measurements from the raw data. I can't find it anymore! From memory, there were several steps/stages to remove unwanted/extraneous manifestations from the task at hand. Each step included an 'ovoid' graphic view like we're used to seeing, 'tuning' and filtering the results, ending up with what everyone is used to seeing as the final, published CMB map. Does this website/page ring a bell with anyone?

    I never stopped to think about - to realize - how much massaging and filtering the data goes through before the final 'map'. I'd guess that many folks think as I used to, that the map is just a 'stiched collage' of photos from different angles. :wink:

    I was a bit amazed, a bit taken back, and gained a lot of respect for the efforts that go into this analysis. At the same time, to me it introduced a lot of "leeway" into the CMB maps, as well as great opportunities as newer experiments gather and provide greater detail.
     
  11. Jul 13, 2014 #10

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    Well, first we need to come to a consensus on the results of the measurements, and only then we can say if the universe is homogeneous or not.

    Science should be as objective as it can be without any prejudices that some may have with their religious stances that for some do affect their judgment on the matter. (atheists and theists).

    I just read on the geocentrism of this christian believer, if you heard of this documentary here:
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astr...rinciple_a_documentary_about_geocentrism.html

    Yes, it look too holywood film for my taste;

    It's good being agnostic sometimes, even if there is a God or there is an axis of evil that earth is in the centre as geocentric believers put it, even then you always stay in an endless regression, as we all know the philosophical paradoxes for the attributes of a God, we can never really get to grips with one first mover as Aristotle put it, cause it begs a lot of questions.

    Metaphorically reality is turtles all the way down, or more down to earth a simulation within a simulation withing simulation, or simulations all the way down.

    That's what I believe, all the rest is debatable.
    And it's good we have these debates to pass the time... :-)
     
  12. Jul 13, 2014 #11

    Evo

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    Might want to read this
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329762.800#.U8LzgJRdVJb
     
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