Cosmology Examination Results

The examination season in Maynooth being now over, and the results having been issued, I thought I’d pass on the results not for individual students but for the Universe as a whole.

As you can see Dark Energy is top of the class, with a good II.1 (Upper Second Class). A few years ago this candidate looked likely to get a mark over 70% and thus get First Class Honours, but in the end fell just short. Given the steady performance and possible improvement in future I think this candidate will probably be one to reckon with in a future research career.

In second place, a long way behind on about 27%, is Dark Matter. This candidate only answered some of the questions asked, and those not very convincingly. Although reasonably strong on theory, the candidate didn’t show up at all in the laboratory. The result is a fail but there is an opportunity for a repeat at a future date, though there is some doubt as to whether the candidate would appear.

At the bottom of the class on a meagre 5% we find Ordinary Matter. It seems this candidate must have left the examination early and did not even give the correct name (baryons) on the script. Technically this one could repeat but even doing so is unlikely even to get an Ordinary Degree. I would suggest that baryons aren’t really cut out for cosmology and should make alternative plans for the future.


P.S. Photons and neutrinos ceased interacting with the course some time ago. Owing to this lack of engagement they are assumed to have dropped out, and their marks are not shown.





3 Responses to “Cosmology Examination Results”

  1. I often wonder if cosmology is the only field of scientific study where we have a seemingly precise big picture of what is going on, yet 2 elements of that picture are essentially unknown?

    • Phillip Helbig Says:

      It is certainly unknown what dark matter is. However, perhaps we know what dark energy is: the cosmological constant. Assuming that that is the case (which, as far as I know, is not contradicted by any observation), what more to know about it could there be?

      Not only is there no observation which contradicts it, but measurements of w are -1 with smaller and smaller uncertainties.

  2. So ordinary matter failed the course? But I expect that it is having all the fun, and brings light and energy to every student party. A universe without it wouldn’t be much fun.

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