WMAP: The Last Judgement

It seems the the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, or rather the estimable team of people working on it, have produced yet another set of maps and key results. I believe this will be the final release from WMAP. The paper is on the arXiv here and it represents a synthesis of no less than nine years of measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation:

Here’s the abstract:

We present the final nine-year maps and basic results from the WMAP mission. We provide new nine-year full sky temperature maps that were processed to reduce the asymmetry of the effective beams. Temperature and polarization sky maps are examined to separate CMB anisotropy from foreground emission, and both types of signals are analyzed in detail. The WMAP mission has resulted in a highly constrained LCDM cosmological model with precise and accurate parameters in agreement with a host of other cosmological measurements. When WMAP data are combined with finer scale CMB, baryon acoustic oscillation, and Hubble constant measurements, we find that Big Bang nucleosynthesis is well supported and there is no compelling evidence for a non-standard number of neutrino species (3.26+/-0.35). The model fit also implies that the age of the universe is 13.772+/-0.059 Gyr, and the fit Hubble constant is H0 = 69.32+/-0.80 km/s/Mpc. Inflation is also supported: the fluctuations are adiabatic, with Gaussian random phases; the detection of a deviation of the scalar spectral index from unity reported earlier by WMAP now has high statistical significance (n_s = 0.9608+/-0.0080); and the universe is close to flat/Euclidean, Omega_k = -0.0027 (+0.0039/-0.0038). Overall, the WMAP mission has resulted in a reduction of the cosmological parameter volume by a factor of 68,000 for the standard six-parameter LCDM model, based on CMB data alone. For a model including tensors, the allowed seven-parameter volume has been reduced by a factor 117,000. Other cosmological observations are in accord with the CMB predictions, and the combined data reduces the cosmological parameter volume even further. With no significant anomalies and an adequate goodness-of-fit, the inflationary flat LCDM model and its precise and accurate parameters rooted in WMAP data stands as the standard model of cosmology.

The main reason for posting this is to acknowledge the remarkable impact WMAP has had on the field of cosmology. The standard model does indeed account for most available cosmological data extremely well. I’m not entirely sure about the “no significant anomalies” bit in the last sentence, in fact, but I won’t argue with it as it depends entirely upon what you mean by significant. It’s not exactly proven that the fluctuations have “random phases” either. We’ll just have to see whether data from Planck, due to be released next year, will reveal evidence of any physics beyond the standard framework WMAP did so much to establish.

9 Responses to “WMAP: The Last Judgement”

  1. The answer to your last question is definitely “yes”.

  2. Why we are so anxious about lambda and omega to calculate finite or infinite. Balloon inside balloon theory of matter and antimatter universe on opposite entropy path producing dark energy which is antigraviton and graviton for gravity at common boundary by annihilation is injected in both the universes for further necessary action . The question is not finite or infinite as stage is multiverse with infinite space but whether our universe is actually expanding ,though the galaxies flying away . More I will talk about if WMAP give some indication of this theory. At present CERN has found these two Higgs Bosons which I said as graviton and antigraviton which I said gravitoethertons in ether=gravity=darkenergy theory of gravitoethertons also. Read and enjoy and think differently.

  3. Monica Grady Says:

    So, now that we know the age of the universe, omega and the hubble constant to such precision (and, one hopes, accuracy), has cosmology finished? i.e., are all the questions answered….?
    M
    x

  4. My comment is that when we measured in this paper

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/1001.4795

    we got that it equaled 0.0113 +- 0.0154, and we wrote “Thus, the fact that the average value of the deceleration parameter over the age of the universe is nearly zero for CDM, really is a “greater” coincidence then the well known “coincidence problem”.”

    When a get a moment, I will plug the new values in to see if I we still get a being statistically zero.

    ps – I was at the 1995 Melbourne conference also 🙂

    • Hmmm – it looks like using angle brackets screws things up…

      Try 2

      My comment is that when we measured the time averaged value of q(t) in this paper

      http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/1001.4795

      we got that it equaled 0.0113 +- 0.0154, and we wrote “Thus, the fact that the average value of the deceleration parameter over the age of the universe is nearly zero for CDM, really is a “greater” coincidence then the well known “coincidence problem”.”

      When a get a moment, I will plug the new values in to see if I we still get a time averaged value of q(t) being statistically zero.

      ps – I was at the 1995 Melbourne conference also 🙂

  5. The entire quantum physics and its theories should be checked in LHC . We have to develop New Physics if we think dark matter,dark energy and gravity is understood beyond Einstein.

  6. […] one CMB satellite bows out, with the announcement of the final results form WMAP, the new year will see the rise of the next CMB experiment, Planck. You’ll still have to wait […]

  7. Basic atomic model without strong and weak forces as postulated in two charge cloud theory with mono magnetic coupling is waiting for further investigation in CERN. The whole quantum physics is being reviewed now .

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