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!