Feeds

Swivel-shed v polar stilt-scope in Big Bang boffinry clash

Quest for the cosmic grav-wave afterglow 'gunsmoke'

SANS - Survey on application security programs

International brainboxes operating a fiendishly cunning probe contained in a small rotating shed on a pole situated in the arid high-altitude desert of Chile are in a race against rival boffins with a telescope on stilts at the South Pole to discover how the universe was born.

The two crews of elite brains are looking to discover evidence of gravity waves, possibly created in the moments immediately following the appearance of the universe. It's thought that cosmic microwave background radiation, described as "the afterglow of the Big Bang" may hold traces of these gravitational ripples.

The QUIET instrument in Chile's Atacama desert

Get it really cold and really dry, and shake it about

Roughly speaking, then - we here on the Reg boffinry desk are badly hampered in explaining this by having basically no idea what we're on about - in terms of everyday objects and events that we can all understand, the early universe behaved as though one had lobbed a powerful bomb into a vast hot tub filled with highly elastic microwave-emitting jelly.

As explained by the University of Chicago:

Space expanded faster than the speed of light. It sounds crazy ... gravity waves rippled through the very fabric of space-time itself ... gravity waves that alternatively compressed and expanded space, first in one direction, then another ...

Seeking to make things a bit clearer, Chicago Physics prof Bruce Winstein explains: "These gravity waves have been called the smoking gun of inflation." That's universe inflation, not economic.

Winstein is a major honcho in a physics project called QUIET. The Q and the U stand for Stokes radiation parameters, as one would expect in this context had one even an elementary grasp of the subject, and the IET bit stands for Imaging ExperimenT.

The prof and other QUIET boffins have recently deployed an array of 19 super-superchilled microwave antennae in a small shed-like box in Chile's hyper-arid Atacama desert 17,000 feet above sea level. The Martini-esque experiment is mounted on a swivelly pedestal (see pic) so as to scan the entire sky for microwave universe-inflation gravity ripple bang-afterglow gunsmoke.

Chicago Uni's experts in chilled, dry experimental modules are now racing to fit out the desert funhouse shed with hundreds more antennae. This is vital in order to steal a march on rival boffins, also seeking to find the gravwave gunsmoke with their radiotelescope, situated at the Amundsen-Scott scientific South Pole stilt base. The Chicago desert-antenna swivel-shed team hope to have their enhanced universe-ripple probe online by June.

"No one can say what the best approach is right now," says Winstein, evidently a true sportsman, "but ... ours is different from most of the others. It's very exciting to be in this game."

There's more from Chicago Uni here, and stuff about the South Pole stiltscope here. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.