The most recent data set was made by an experiment called the Cosmic Background Imager, which released a new set of data in May that is rather spectacular. This graph of the spectrum is rather complicated because these fluctuations are produced during the inflationary era, but then oscillate as the early universe evolves. Thus, what you see is a picture that includes the original spectrum plus all of the oscillations which depend on various properties of the universe. A remarkable thing is that these curves now show five separate peaks, and all five of the peaks show good agreement between theory and observation. You can see that the peaks are in about the right place and have about the right heights, without any ambiguity, and the leading peak is rather well-mapped-out. It's a rather remarkable fit between actual measurements made by astronomers, and a theory based on wild ideas about quantum fluctuations at 10-35 seconds. The data is so far in beautiful agreement with the theory.

The diagram shows how the intensity of the ripples in the cosmic microwave background radiation varies with wavelength, with long wavelengths on the left and shorter wavelengths on the right. The wavelength is measured as an angle of the image on the sky, and is shown in terms of the multipole number . Roughly speaking, the angular wavelength is 180 degrees divided by .

Previous | Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next