Thursday, September 07, 2006

Funny Stuff from WMAP


From Roger Penrose's "Road to Reality," a fascinating book that takes a properly skeptical view of fashionable ideas like inflation and the cosmic constant. It also contains an introduction to the spherical harmonics that calculate these graphs.

This is one of the graphs that "proves" a Concorde cosmology. Look at the left side. The data points only follow the prediction line for angles less than 30 degrees. Starting at l = 3 the points depart significantly from the prediction. Presented here in logarithmic form, the departure does not seem obvious. However, most of the sky is greater than 30 degrees!

Look for l = 2. This point has been COVERED by the vertical axis. That axis should properly be at l = 1, but here is placed to cover up that pesky data point. Presentation of this graph has been changed to better support the prediction.

Quoting Penrose: "In my opinion, we must be exceedingly cautious about claims of this kind--even if seemingly supported by high-quality experimental results. These are frequently analysed from the perspective of some fashionable theory."

Many of you work in physics or are interested enough to study and attend lectures. Your comments show that you are capable of critical thinking. The science presented here is strong enough to withstand any criticism. The next time someone lectures about inflation or dark energy, question them!

12 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

What's going on, Louise? Where are the people who find this interesting?

5:21 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Hi, Kea. I think about that, too. Still, this blog gets over 100 hits/day and growing, pretty good for being online a couple of months. In the past week I received 2/3 as many comments as Communist Variance, and those guys have been blogging for years. The four of us together get more comments than CV.

We don't get as many insults and "anonymous cowards" as PW, but who wants them anyway? The critics out there should realise I'm the wrong woman to pick a fight with. Our blogs are still evolving and finding an audience. I see the market for our ideas quickly growing to challenge both Lunar Module and PW.

7:20 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

louise, kea

If you want more of the people who comment on not even wrong and cv to look in here, you have to leave comments on there on the on going topics oe issues ...

not just leave a comment saying come over here and see me on a strat-on-sphere vertical ride.

10:13 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Plus like you say Louise,
if what you have to say is interesting, people will be unable to ignore it, they'll have to come and see, even if they do not have anything to add or leave a comment.

Kea, no rock band became pop stars overnight, U2 were going for years, before they polished their act became famous - and developed the sophistication to go global.

The hit may happen overnight, but only after years of playing in which ever club would have them to whatever audience cared to listen.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

...you have to leave comments on there...

That's a nice thought, quasar9, but everything I write on those blogs these days gets deleted.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

09 08 06

Q9 is right, but how come they keep deleting your comments? I don't get it. I do like the posts you have done recently though Kea:)

7:08 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Kea & Mahndisa, working on that. We get a lot of comments from blogger, but must work to reach the wider world of Scienceblogs and CV.

It is still easy to ignore women in science, even if we are working on important thing. If we keep knocking on doors we will get noticed.

I just left a comment on NEW, echoed there by Chris, relating to the subject matter. As Mr. Worf might say, "Delete THIS!"

11:52 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

...but how come they keep deleting your comments?

Because as far as they are concerned I have committed some unpardonable crimes. I have
(a) become one of the enemy - a String theorist
(b) gone completely crazy
(c) acted in an uncouth manner by displaying tendencies for self-promotion
(d) said some things that are mathematically incorrect (which, of course, nobody else ever does)

1:03 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Kea, I know what it is like to be ignored too. You are always welcome to post here.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Contrary to your claim, the l=3 data point does not deviate significantly from the theoretical line. Indeed, you can see visually it differs at the ~1 standard deviation level, which is not significantly different.

Similarly, the l=2 data point varies at only the ~2 standard deviation level, which is not significant.

The data do not statistically support your claim that for small multipole moments the theoretical model is not a good model.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...also, it is well known that the first few multipole moments are heavily contaminated by foreground (galactic) sources, and therefore this is where the largest systematic errors lie. This is also the reason the error bars are so large here.

You realise that it could be problems with foreground subtraction which give the (NOT statistically significant) deviation from the theoretical line?

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Health said...

Presentation of this graph has been
changed to better support the prediction.

12:23 AM  

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