… and by ‘world’, I mean, of course, the universe.

In the NY Times today was an article describing the results of the measurement of the variance of temperature of the background radiation… it’s 1[sup]o[/sup] of arc!!!

Now, for those of you, who, like me, didn’t grasp the significance of 1[sup]o[/sup] of arc, let me explain:

Theory: As the big bang exploded into the first moments of expanding space-time, the ‘fuzziness’ of quantum mechanics should have imprinted blotches of uneveness into the really hot radiation of creation (or ‘beginningness’ for you atheists). So, in ‘looking’ at the background radiation all around us that comes from the first moments of the big bang, the math says that the blotches should be the size of 1[sup]o[/sup] of arc of the sky.

And it is.

So, why does that mean a flat universe? In a closed universe (hyperhyperspherical, positive curvature, convex), parallel lines converge. This would have made the blotches appear less than 1[sup]o[/sup] of arc.

In an open uneverse (hyperhyperbolic, negative curvature, concave), parallel lines diverge. This would have made the blotches appear to be more than 1[sup]o[/sup] of arc.

But since they are 1[sup]o[/sup] of arc by measurement, then the universe is flat (Euclidean, hyperplanar, zero curvature).

(Except, of course, near any mass where there is local warping of space-time. We’re talking here of the universe, over all.)

This means that there still is missing matter and that there may be some mysterious force counteracting gravity that seems to exist in the nothingness of the the space between matter. (Which makes Einstein’s original fudge of a gravitational constant a player again in cosmology – until it can be explained by something else.)

IOW, this ‘finding’ is another piece of the puzzle that fills in one part of the picture only to show that the puzzle is larger than you think.

For a related thread:

http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/003552.html

Peace.