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Discovery of the 3 °K Radiation

  • D. T. Wilkinson
  • P. J. E. Peebles
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 164)

Abstract

Perhaps all discoveries in science have some elements of a good mystery story. This one does. In 1964 the major cosmic puzzle was whether the Universe is Evolving (Big Bang) or Steady State; both ideas had merit, neither had proof. However, the Big Bang had left a deliberate clue — a shadowy remnant of its firey youth. Three groups of physicists are on the case, each starting from a different premise, and unaware of the others. One group (in Russia) is putting together published theoretical and experimental evidence; they are very close, but misinterpret a clue. Another group, ignorant of the past, starts from the beginning and plods systematically toward the solution. The third group is looking, very carefully, right at the clue, and wonder what it is. Thermal Radiation from the Big Bang is about to be discovered. Proving again that nothing is new, the Radiation had been predicted 15 years earlier, but not searched for. And at least two published observations — one 25 years old — gave strong evidence for the existence of the Radiation prior to its discovery.

Keywords

Thermal Radiation Heavy Element Blackbody Radiation Nucleon Density Serendipitous Discovery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. T. Wilkinson
    • 1
  • P. J. E. Peebles
    • 1
  1. 1.Joseph Henry LaboratoriesPrinceton UniversityUSA

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