(fwd) WMAP results

boud boud w astro.uni.torun.pl
Śro, 12 Lut 2003, 17:18:12 CET

It's amazing how when enough people say the same wrong statement, it
starts to become perceived as truth. Actually, it's not that amazing,
it's a well-known empirical result in psychology.

Why spoil the analysis of a beautiful data set by saying the wrong

"The Universe is flat"

when the correct statement is that

"the *observable* Universe is *approximately* flat"

? The WMAP data do not change this situation, though 1sigma = +- 0.02
gives 3 sigma +- 0.06 which means that the curvature radius is at
least 12 h^-1 Gpc instead of 9.5h^-1Gpc (for +- 0.1) in comoving units
at 3sigma.  It's still like saying the Earth is flat because Africa
is flat. Well, the Earth *is* (nearly) flat.

> 1. The data let you constrain cosmological parameters much more precisely
> than before.  In particular, the age of the Universe is 13.7 +/- 0.2 Gyr.
> (Not that long ago, we couldn't say more than "12 to 20 Gyr"!)  The
> Universe is flat: Omega total is 1.02 +/- 0.02.  The densities of
> various forms of matter and energy are pinned down quite well too.

Anyway, nice to finally see the MAP map :) It's beautiful.



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