Universe may not be flat as we thought
One of the main perspectives in the scientific community regarding the shape of the Universe is that it is flat. However, new research done at the University of Edinburgh in the UK suggests that the universe may not be flat after all.
The belief in a flat universe is partly based on a measurement carried out by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe ( WMAP). The probe was launched by NASA in 2001 with the goal of taking measurements for studying the properties of the universe and developing a standard model of cosmology. The results led scientists to conclude, with only a 0.4% margin of error, that the universe is flat.
However, a few years ago, the WMAP probe detected some anomalies in the structure of the radiation left over from the ‘Big Bang’, one of the criteria used for measuring the shape of the universe. Initially they thought that it was a problem with the probe which they would fix in the next version and, instead of investigating more, the anomaly was simply put down to technical difficulties.
However, Andre Liddle and Marina Cortes of the University of Edinburgh, carried out a study in which they found that those anomalies weren’t simply technical problems associated with the probe, but were indeed anomalies in the structure of the radiation in the universe which leads to a new model of cosmic inflation with the implication that the universe is curved.
If Liddle and Cortes’ theory is proven correct, it will be a radical change from mainstream perspective and will change our perception in a similar way to when the Earth was proven round. Until then, they will have their work cut out for them in convincing the mainstream supporters of a flat Universe.
By John Black