Thursday, March 16, 2006

I don't get it but it's awesome

Scientists apparently just found "the smoking gun" that shows that the Big Bang, that is, the moment our universe was created, actually happened. And no, it didn't take one day, like some Bible thumping morons claim. In fact, the very beginning of the universe took less than one trillion-trillionth of a second.
Maybe creationists can explain it like this: God farted. (I find this, by the way, a very plausible explanation).

According to the NYT:
"Physicists announced Thursday that they now have the smoking gun that shows the universe went through extremely rapid expansion in the moments after the big bang, growing from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space in less than a trillion-trillionth of a second.
OY VEY. MAJOR CASE OF COSMIC HEARTBURN.
The discovery -- which involves an analysis of variations in the brightness of microwave radiation -- is the first direct evidence to support the two-decade-old theory that the universe went through what is called inflation.
I.E. A COSMIC FART. NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE ANALYSIS OF VARIATIONS IN THE NUKING OF YOUR POPCORN AND THE SUBSEQUENT INFLATION OF THE BAG IN THE MICROWAVE.
It also helps explain how matter eventually clumped together into planets, stars and galaxies (OH, SO THAT WAS IT...) in a universe that began as a remarkably smooth, superhot soup.
TOMATO OR CREAM OF MUSHROOM?
''It's giving us our first clues about how inflation took place,'' said Michael Turner, assistant director for mathematics and physical sciences at the National Science Foundation. ''This is absolutely amazing.''
NO SHIT, MIKE.
Brian Greene, a Columbia University physicist, said: ''The observations are spectacular and the conclusions are stunning.''
INDEED THEY ARE, BRO.
Researchers found the evidence for inflation by looking at a faint glow that permeates the universe. That glow, known as the cosmic microwave background, was produced when the universe was about 300,000 years old - -- long after inflation had done its work.
SO IT WASN'T MAYBELLINE?
But just as a fossil tells a paleontologist about long-extinct life, the pattern of light in the cosmic microwave background offers clues about what came before it. Of specific interest to physicists are subtle brightness variations that give images of the microwave background a lumpy appearance.
I KNEW IT! THE UNIVERSE HAS CELLULITIS.
Physicists presented new measurements of those variations during a news conference at Princeton University. The measurements were made by a spaceborne instrument called the Wilkinson Microwave Anistropy Probe, or WMAP, launched by NASA in 2001.
COOL.
Earlier studies of WMAP data have determined that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, give or take a few hundred thousand years.
GIVE OR TAKE... YOU SURE IT WASN'T SEVEN DAYS? POSITIVE?
WMAP also measured variations in the cosmic microwave background so huge that they stretch across the entire sky. Those earlier observations are strong indicators of inflation, but no smoking gun, said Turner, who was not involved in the research.
EASY FOR HIM TO SAY...
The new analysis looked at variations in the microwave background over smaller patches of sky -- only billions of light-years across, instead of hundreds of billions.
UH, OKAY.
Without inflation, the brightness variations over small patches of the sky would be the same as those observed over larger areas of the heavens. But the researchers found considerable differences in the brightness variations.
ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON.
''The data favors inflation,'' said Charles Bennett, a Johns Hopkins University physicist who announced the discovery. He was joined by two Princeton colleagues, Lyman Page and David Spergel, who also contributed to the research.
GOOD FOR YOU, NERDS. YOU ROCK MY WORLD.
Bennett added: ''It amazes me that we can say anything at all about what transpired in the first trillionth of a second of the universe.''
NO KIDDING, BUDDY.
The physicists said small lumps in the microwave background began during inflation. Those lumps eventually coalesced into stars, galaxies and planets.
AND SHANGHAI SOUP DUMPLINGS FROM JOE'S.
The measurements are scheduled to be published in a future issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
RUN TO YOUR NEAREST NEWSSTAND AND GET IT TODAY!

1 comment:

  1. Conchita2:29 PM

    I always loved the big band theory. And Carl "bilions and billions and billions" Sagan! I even read The Red Limit. It is amazing and heartwarming that something NASA launches is still valuable. Love nerdy stuff like this and with your commentary I laughed out loud many times. COOL clean post. Are you okay, amiguita?
    ;-]

    ReplyDelete