Sunday, November 30, 2014

Planck all-sky polarization data out: Mon-Fri

Update: For some data announced on Monday, see e.g. Spergel's Twitter

ESA's Planck spacecraft is two orders of magnitude more expensive than the BICEP2 experiment (a telescope at the South Pole) that ignited so much excitement in Spring 2014.

Planck: live broadcast

With various expectations, people are waiting what Planck may say about the polarization data of the CMB – and the foregrounds.

In comparison with BICEP2, Planck should have some advantages. Between 2009 and 2013, it was mapping the whole sky. Also, it should be looking at nine frequencies. Finally, two days ago, ESA promised us results in the coming 5 days:
Conference announcement: Planck 2014 — The Microwave Sky In Temperature And Polarization
From Monday through Friday, the Planck 2014 conference will take place in Ferrara, Italy.

You may bookmark this list of 6 live broadcasts from the conference, assuming that you will survive that those Italian chaps have misspelled the name of Planck everywhere. No, Max Planck was a relative of neither plankton nor Newton.

Many of us have voiced some doubts whether Planck has the capability to settle the questions about the origin of the anomalous or potentially exciting observations by BICEP2. I think that there have been reasons to be doubtful about Planck's impartiality.

We will probably see what they have to offer and whether their picture may become equally solid or more solid than the picture painted by BICEP2. Other experiments should report some new results at the conference, too. BICEP2 and Planck have been promising a joint paper by the end of November – they have few hours left and I am pretty sure that they won't tell us anything before that soft deadline.


  1. Let this comment be a warning to What Is going on (and its 'female' manifestation in the form of our still string/M-theoretically anorexic Mother Nature) that I WAANT <= Plank-scale pattern-seeding/planting events to be possible to project onto my computer's screen!! ;>

  2. I hope the popular media channels will behave more reasonable this time or shut up about this topic if they cant ... :-/

    Anyway, I am very curious about what will come out from this conference and for me it is enough to read here on TRF about it :-)



    Dark matter limits

  4. Do I understand correctly if I say that WIMPs are excluded up to 10 GeV and this says nothing about higher mass WIMPs?

  5. What a pity it would be if nekulturny BICEP2 conclusions were spot on. Theorists' elegant maunder would be empirically falsified re Galileo and Popper.

    Achiral spacetime curvature amd chiral spacetime torsion act identically, decided by diastereomeric footnotes. A vacuum supersonically expanded molecular beam of racemic 4-oxa-D_3-trishomocubane at ~1 kelvin rotational temperature traverses a chirped pulse FT µwave spectrometer. One degenerate rotational spectrum is spacetime curvature. Two spectra are spacetime torsion. Five synthetic steps from furan plus benzoquinone. Give quantum gravitation and SUSY the fingers,

  6. Yes, it's the lower masses that are excluded although it's really up to 40 GeV self-annihilating WIMPs that are excluded.

    The polarization data could improve the limit - i.e. raise 40 to a higher number.

  7. Who or what is nekulturny? Uncultural in a Slavic language - are you learning foreign languages?

  8. I suspect it is an insult of some kind, LOL ;-)

  9. In the end, which new results has Planck presented? Are they final confirmations of previous BICEP2 data? Thanks