Tuesday, February 03, 2015

BICEP2+Keck: 4 new papers, improved sensitivity

Minutes ago, the BICEP2 Collaboration tweeted that it has made several new papers available via bicepkeck.org. No Planck is involved here.

Keck Array (BICEP2.5) telescope.

These papers are one about the instrumental systematics of BICEP2 (the systematic error is 10 times smaller than their statistical uncertainty, the B-modes are discovered at more than 5 sigma), a combination of BICEP2 and Keck Array (it discovers B-modes at more than 6 sigma, noise uncertainty dropped 2.3 times), optical performance (of both experiments), and a joint paper of BICEP2, Keck Array, and SPIDER (about antennas' bandwidth and sensitivities).

The BICEP2+Keck Array Collaboration seems to be the leader in the sensitivity needed to detect the gravitational waves. All the signals become stronger, as expected, but these new papers largely avoid the discussion how to model the dust and how to distinguish dust from the primordial gravitational waves that could have been produced during cosmic inflation.

All these BICEP2+Keck Array papers were running at 150 GHz. Later this year, we may already see some results of BICEP3 at 95 GHz and Keck Array at 220 GHz which could bring rather new information.


  1. So no cigar quite yet?

  2. Why would people try to asphyxiate themselves before they have a chance to receive an amazingly enriched confirmation of What Is ultimately going on as reflected by evidently primordial twirls of QuantumGravity?

  3. Do these new observations validate/alter the red shift/expanding universe theory?

  4. Dear Gerry, these measurements have occurred at one frequency, 150 GHz, in a continuum-frequency radiation, so they of course can't say anything about any "red shifts".

    But I assure you that even if they measure many frequencies, they measure so much advanced aspects of cosmology that the basic things such as "the red shift is due to the expansion of the Universe" are always assumed for granted by these experiments and experimenters.

    If that basic paradigm explaining the red shift in the Cosmos were wrong, there would have to be much cheaper and easier ways to see it.

    No professional multi-million-dollar experiment is testing this paradigm vis-a-vis alternatives because no alternatives worth testing exist in literature.

  5. Luke, LOL. ;-) The better resolution doesn't help to make any of the really interesting (and controversial) claims about the tensor modes and inflation here because they depend on the attribution to dust etc. There's been no progress in that respect but it may change with the extra frequencies. The conclusions may change in both ways, of course.

  6. Lubos ffs lose the politics, nobody gives a fat rats clacker about politicians, we all assume they lie and there will be injustice so just live with it and get on with the physics

  7. Witten just published a paper "The Super Period Matrix with Raymond Punctures". What are these and what is their significance?

  8. Observations of early gravitational waves can tell us about inflation, which occurred very early and is a different phenomenon from the current expansion of the universe.

  9. Hi, it's some weeks ago.

    The name is Ramond, a French name, not Raymond. Ramond punctures are special points on the world sheet where operators corresponding to Ramond states - states of a superstring with periodic fermions on the cylinder - are inserted.

    The period matrix is one of the mathematical ways to conformally describe a Riemann surface - a 2-dimensional manifold where only the local angles matter - and Witten described some generalizations of this Riemann surface mathematics to the case of having 2 bosonic dimensions of the world sheet plus one or two fermionic ones. This generalization is relevant for the superstring, the supersymmetric string, which may also be described as a string with a world sheet supersymmetry.

    I am afraid that if you don't get some of these words, the paper will be completely useless for you because it's rather technical and based on lots of "prerequisites" one has to know in advance.

  10. I would explain (to you since you asked politely) had he not banned me straight away.

    He is a pompously hateful person apparently, that won’t tolerate counter arguments and would love to see
    me “begging on the streets of Athens” apparently.

  11. Actually, I live in Thessaloniki not Athens. I could route my IP via a proxy server had I wanted to, but it was not my intention to “hide”.

    Yes, it is a personal comment, and yes, Greece is a country with many problems, and many disillusioned people.

    Having said that, you are still ignorant about economics and your reply is sad. I knew you would come up with something ludicrously offensive, proving (to me at least) that you are as low as I guessed you were.

  12. Instead of chastising the greeks, people should thank them for delivering a real life lesson. Consider it the cost of learning. Banks and other financial institutions that in good times lent money to whoever dropped on their doorsteep forgoing all sensible banking practices should just go bankrupt. Why do I constantly read the following complain? ¨Ohh, those terrible greeks masterminded a plan to trick us all and fool us all, we never saw it coming¨. Well as PT Barnum used to say. ¨A fool is born every minute¨, and it would seem there are plenty in the E.U. I say this because every time an institution in the E.U had some extra cash, the first thing they would do was look for the nearest greek to give him a check. ¨Ohh, please point me to the nearest greek, I have a bundle of cash¨. It did not matter that Greece had defauted on loans more than five times in their recent history. It did not matter that they cooked their books to get into the monetary union. They just continued to get the money. Who is the irresponsible one here, the greeks? Who needs to pay for this mistake, the greeks? Come on, take the loss and learn from it. Don´t make the mistake a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth ... ohh yesss. It is the sixth time in recent history that people are surprised and demand greek repayment. As a previous guest on this thread who goes by the name of Tony posted: ¨Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me¨ .... Six times, it has been Six times.

  13. It's nothing laser depilation cannot ameliorate, plus a faint soupçon of hydroquinone monomethyl ether at the taint and following for brightening. There is a wave of breath-catching beauty sweeping up from Iran into the Ukraine.

  14. "Sorry, Syriza, but that won't work because you and 40 years worth of your left-wing predecessors have de facto exterminated all rich and successful Greek people."

    In the article "Greek Wealth Is Everywhere but Tax Form" (http://tinyurl.com/okcu7uv) we read,

    "In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where summer temperatures often hit the high 90s, just 324 residents checked the box on their tax returns admitting that they owned pools.

    So tax investigators studied satellite photos of the area — a sprawling collection of expensive villas tucked behind tall gates — and came back with a decidedly different number: 16,974 pools."

    I grew up in a middle class suburb in NJ, and not even most of the houses in the ritzier areas of towns had swimming pools. The knew of only 1 pool owner on my block or adjacent block. They had an above the ground, round pool that was maybe 30 feet in diameter. You could stand up in it, and your head would not be under water. (I speak from personal experience, as a friend owned the pool, and I 'swam' in it.)

    Even charitably interpreting your statement as hyperbole, how do you square 16,974 pools with a "de facto exterminat(ion of) all rich and successful Greek people"?? Do these pools belong to foreigners? Are the pools in abandoned properties, (presumably empty of water) as their former owners were "exterminated"?

  15. The difference between personal debt and sovereign debt is that, as we see with Argentina, creditors have almost no ability to actually seize sovereign assets. As Mr Buffalo somewhat incoherently pointed out, nobody is going to send in their military over this.

  16. Dear dreamfeed, maybe there is also a difference between the debt of a remote third-world country and a country on the European continent.

    Stealing EUR 320 billion in debt isn't kosher in Europe and a military invasion is perfectly justifiable and possible.

  17. Dear Buffalo, this is complete bullshit. Whenever the debt decreases as a percentage of GDP, it is an episode proving that the debt can be repaid.

    The debt doesn't have to be repaid if it is stabilized and if this potential to repay it is still there.

    Technically, each bond *is* always repaid: the U.S. government just creates new debt when it repays the old one.

    But of course that if it became certain or nearly certain that you are right, that the U.S. can never repay it, the borrowing would pretty much immediately stop.

    I am shocked that you are effectively suggesting that even you in the U.S. think about not repaying your debt.

  18. Right, but almost all these people with pools call themselves needy, pay no taxes, and they live out of the welfare system (*that* is the real problem here) and most of them are broke from a purely financial viewpoint.

    At the end, it depends what pool we talk about. You may have pools from $100...

  19. The US creates its own currency so it can never be in a situation where it can't repay debt. But it may have consequences if it doesn't issue new debt and the market is flooded with dollars. Governments with their own currency are only constrained by wishes about avoiding inflation and such.

  20. "self proclaimed physicist"? Yours is the post of an asshat.
    Maybe when you finish your 'thesis" you will get on to working on your doctoral dissertation?
    So, youre in the middle of your effing Masters?
    Give us all a break.
    I lost three minutes of my life reading your ridiculous ad hominem attack; at the rate you read, you will complete your secondary education certification sometime in the next decade.
    i pity the poor students who will be subjected to your mindless rants.
    Best Regards,

  21. true that, Qsa.

  22. hah hah.

  23. is that effing pigs?

  24. There have not been any major errors of the commercial banks that lent to Greece. What was risky on the lender side was to invest (almost) *all* of one's money to Greece as a loan - but almost no one has actually done such a thing. The lenders acted reasonably and they will do fine.

    There are conditions, rules in the contracts, in the loans. These rules imply that if Greece goes bust as a government, it will be very painful which is why they want to avoid it, and even if they go bust, it simply doesn't mean that the lenders will get nothing at all.

    With all these considerations, the market decided about some interest rates that adequately incorporated the risks and benefits. The rates were always higher than the yields e.g. on German or Finnish bonds, they were very high in recent years, and they're effectively infinite today, not only because of the huge debt from the past but also because of totally anti-growth policies that the newly victorious Marxists plan to plant all over the country to destroy the last traces of capitalism in Greece.

    So the only lesson one may learn is not to send another penny to Greece *now*, except as a speculative investment. But the situation was never so clear even 5 years ago which is why it was perfectly right and sensible for borrowing to be possible at a finite interest rate. Greece was in a comparable shape as Italy today and Italy's debt undoubtedly has a high probability of being repaid if the Italians actually want.

    Default is never quite predictable - not even now, we can be quite sure that Greece will go bust in 2015. They're stochastic events and one cannot really learn reliable lessons from one isolated event which is a major reason why your comment is just plain wrong. But what's important now is for the rules to be obeyed. A default is a very important event and it has consequences for the finances of the bust entity and for its position in many international organizations etc.

    The lenders, the eurozone, and the EU have been twisting the rules and inventing exceptions etc. for many and many years in order to "help Greece". None of these things have actually helped to improve the situation - they helped to worsen it - and if there's a lesson to learn, the lesson is that the rules should no longer be twisted and the Greeks should be allowed to go through everything they should go through when they go bankrupt which they clearly want to.

    If someone has a chance to learn a lesson, it's surely not the lenders who are just fine. It's Greeks - who are unlikely to learn, ever - and people in similar nations who may be at risk of going in the Greek direction.

  25. Dear Andrew
    Pardon me if I am not impressed by anybody writing a thesis about Greek economy.
    After all it were loons like you who got Greece in this black hole first place.
    I am sure that Tsipras and his finance minister wrote also some thesis about this or other.
    Further, economy not being a science, your opinion is worth anybody's else.
    Well actually not really - as it is necessary to know at least how to add or, ultimate complexity, divide 2 numbers, I trust much more real scientists (e.g L.Motl f.ex) to have a consistent and contradiction free opinion on the chaotic dynamics of a system called economy.
    However I am genuinely interested to read from you something that has actually an information content.
    Don't hesitate and deliver us some of your opinions.
    Because judging from the extreme poverty of your excited rant, it is not sure that you have any.

  26. I could be mistaken but from a basic point of view such as mine Greek Defaults are a deterministic process. First default in modern
    times followed 17 years later by the second default, and yet again 17
    years later by a third. The fourth default was 34 years later (2 x 17)
    and the fifth was again 34 years later (2 x 17), thus the sixth default
    should have happened in the year 2000 (2 x 34). But what happened?
    Greece was accepted into the monetary union on June the 19th 2000.
    Postponing this event that will happen no later than 2017 (17 years

  27. Will we be getting your thoughts about the most recent batch of Planck papers, particularly as it relates to the BICEP2 polarization results?

  28. No, sorry, I haven't read them and don't plan to read them or talk about them because I don't believe they make any substantial progress relatively to what Planck released in the past.

  29. I ran into your blog because of a physics post, but I find myself moderately angry at you. You are extremely intelligent, certainly conservative (and I consider myself so, too), but I sincerely wish you had more empathy. Certainly no one can argue that Greeks have been quite stupid, and this was coming, but you never once mention Goldman Sachs, and the fraudulent $1billion credit default swap and the $300 million in fees they extracted from it, while betting against it knowingly (and if you have discussed this earlier, please link me, I would sincerely like to know your thoughts).

    What I am trying to say is, sure, you are right. But (in my own, biased opinion), you are still on the wrong side of humanity and its history. You finish your article by making a moral equivalency by conflating the suffering of the average Greek with the lawsuit by Russia trying to extract reparations from Germany. They are not the same thing, and it is downright malevolent of you to make that comparison, when you consider the abject racism of your implications.

  30. What you write is just plain immoral.

    For years after the German invasion, the Russian people have suffered vastly more than the Greeks have at any point of the history.

    More importantly, Greeks have voluntarily decided to make their lives materially rich for decades, for the price of making the future lousy. This is what the very concept of the "debt" means. Russians haven't decided that 1/3 of their country should be flattened by Wehrmacht.

    The very idea that you are willing to compare the "suffering" of Greeks' living beyond their means with the war misery in the USSR - and to make things really bad, you actually seem to claim that the recent "suffering" in Greece was worse - shows that you are not a human being.

    Also, I have lots of empathy, but it's much more important for me to empathize with people who have done nothing wrong, who have done no major mistakes. So I empathize with the guy somewhere in the Eurozone who bought lots of Greek bonds 10 years ago because of their slightly higher interest rate who signed the contract that the money will be repaid unless Greece financially collapses - i.e. ceases to exist as a country - and now some communist assholes are planning to give him the finger, steal his money, continue with (and escalate) the insane Greek government's management of the finances, and work hard to make the thieves richer than this guy who paid them for the undeserved luxury 40 years earlier, too.

    I also empathize with the Goldman Sachs folks who did nothing else than their great and sometimes creative work in finances, respecting all the laws. While it's clear that they were just technical folks in the middle, someone wants to blame *them* for the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Greeks - the ordinary Greeks, the same kind of Greeks that supports Syriza today - have demonstrably devoured.

    I just don't want to be close to vomiting in another random morning in the future, like I was now, so I banned you.

  31. can you not read my words carefully?

    I am not the one making the comparison. You are.

    I never disagreed with your analysis. The last comparison, THAT YOU MADE, DEAR - is unnecessary to your argument. you just wanted to do it, because you can't help yourself and your hating heart. you could have written this perfectly fine article without comparing the atrocities of past fascism that can never be erased, to a bankrupt population that is seeing the rise of a fascist party (let's be clear, Golden Dawn is not neo-fascist, it is purely fascist).

    I am an ethnic minority. You say you have empathy. Why do you not simply agree that this austerity is going to hurt some people more because of race, whether or not the entire population is responsible?

    there is no reason to block me, because I am not mad at you, and I am not malevolent. I did not write this article calling Varoufakis a stupid Marxist like some Neo-McCarthyite. I take it you are not a fan of The Plastic People of the Universe or Vaclav Havel. I don't care about you. You are irrelevant to us here in America.

    You won't publish this, because you just want to have the last word. So be it. I'm not going to lob rockets over the fence like some stupid peasant. I live in the most diverse neighborhood on the planet. You should come visit some time. Good luck to you, and godspeed.

  32. The suffering of the Russians at the hands of the Nazis was indeed atrocious. YOU chose to bolster your technical argument by making the comparison that cannot be made. If you read my words in the original comment one more time, and stop jumping to conclusions like 'an ordinary Greek', you would have seen that. How dare you insinuate that I am insulting Russians? Can you not see why I am angry? I am not the one making moral arguments here. YOU are. If you have any decency, you will publish this.

  33. Dear Guest, if you really believe in fair child-care trials in Norway, then it`s wishful thinking.
    1/ In 2007, Norway lost a case (similar to the Czech one) at the European Court. Mr.Sanchez Cardenas was robbed of his children by the same Barnevernet - he, too, was accused of sexually abusing his children - and, again, nothing was corroborated by the Norwegian police - exactly as in the Czech case. However, the courts in Norway obstinately supported the Barneshit`s oppinion. I only hope the Czech mother will be equally successful.
    2/ I was shocked reading about the child-care system in Norway: even if the court decides to return the children to their parents, it`s the Barnevernet which has the last saying. In other words - there is nobody in real control of this too independent authority.
    3/ I have never considered Norway to be a bana republic (besides, it`s no republic at all). However, the Barnevernet ran out of control - it acts too independently, unnecessarily destroying numerous families and the lives of both children and parents. It should be improved - as soon as possible.

  34. Praise for Norway


  35. The only difference between Czech Republic and Lithuania - Lithuania does NOT care of its children. Nobody moves a finger to save Gabrielius. Other countries fight for the citizens, except Lithuania. Lithuania is too busy helping Ukraine and fighting Russia (this is the easiest way to refocus its nation from internal issues). Poor mom and Gabrielius stay on their own to fight with terrorist-likorganization. Shame on Lithuania!

  36. > Norway is a civilised country, but you can find jerks there as you do everywhere else

    I do not think that Norway is civilised country. Perhaps it was so a long time ago.

    The difference between "jerks" and fascist state, which is Norway now, is that the corrective mechanisms would normally kick in.

    The fact that Barnevernet terror is going on for so long unchallenged by other parts of Norwegian government means that "cancer" has already spread to all country's vital organs/institutions.

    I am sorry to say that, but every adult citizen of Norway is partially guilty, because they let it happen. On this issue, people can not be sitting on the fence. They either support Norwegian terrorism against children or they do not.

    It is not a small thing, which you could ignore. Torturing children is greatest crime known to man kind. And the same way like nazi Germany or Khmer Rouge in Kambodia, it will have to be "cured" probably by outside forces.

    To be honest, I believe that there is very few reasons to declare a war on a nation, but crimes against children are one of these very few. If the situation is not resolved quickly in mother's favour, I will instruct my political representatives to increase pressure on Norwegian fascist government as much as necessary with declaration of war on Norway as unfortunate but necessary last option.

    There is no bigger crime against humanity than torturing children and it must be stopped by any means necessary regardless of the cost involved!