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Sunday, February 19

Dark Stuff, or funny gravity?

In response to Chris’ recent post on the improvement to Einstein’s theory, there is of course, some observational support for the dark energy/dark matter model of the universe. Namely, the recent WMAP (Wilkinson MicrowaveAnisotropy Probe) data - http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_uni/uni_101matter.html. This shows in incredible detail, the structure of the microwave background radiation, and is an extension of the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) experiment. This pattern or “fingerprint” has been compared with various models of the universe, and it is claimed to support a model in which 4% of the universe is ordinary matter; 21% dark matter, and 75% dark energy (called the “Standard Model”). It may be that the “fingerprint” will also support the modified gravitational theory reported by Chris - http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/EinsteinTheory.asp
, and I’d be surprised if the people at WMAP, weren’t already looking at this. You need to bear in mind that using the WMAP fingerprint to support the Standard Model, is a bit like claiming support for the theory of evolution from nothing more than a human fingerprint. As Chris suggests, the debate will go on for a long time yet. It’s a bit like the big bang vs. steady state debate that took place a few decades ago.
I’d suggest you check ot the links in this article; but none of us are capable of “weighing the evidence”, and making a judgment as to which theory is correct. Check them out anyway, it’s a fascinating debate to watch. A recent Horizon program using the WMAP result, argued very strongly in favour of the standard model

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