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Highlights of major physics conference in Washington, D.C.
Date:2/13/2010

APR10/Event/114691">http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR10/Event/114691)

13) NEW MAP OF UNIVERSE GLOW?

For nine years, NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has measured the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) -- a soft, nearly-uniform glow that fills the universe. The most accurate and precise measurements of the cosmological parameters come from WMAP data, which is at the foundation of the standard cosmological model. Continued analysis of the data is helping cosmologists better understand how stars and galaxies came to be arranged after the Big Bang.

The first full-sky map from WMAP in 2003 firmed up the universe's age and rate of expansion and confirmed the existence of dark matter and dark energy. A second map in 2005 revealed a polarization to the CMB that pushed back the date of the formation of the first stars. A third map is 2007 firmed up the standard model and was used to constrain the properties of neutrinos.

"The standard cosmological model is in very good shape," says Lyman Page of Princeton University. "We're entering another era of analyzing the cosmic microwave background and looking for something that is peculiar."

"With the standard model as a foundation, we are also searching for gravitational radiation left over from the Big Bang and quantifying the role of neutrinos in the universe," Page adds. (Talk Y3.2, http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR10/Event/115888)

14) TORNADO TRACKS

A small fraction of severe storms produce violent tornadoes, concentrating violent winds within tens of meters above the ground. Here the threat to human life and property is highest and interaction with the surface can significantly affect the intensity of the tornado; yet, this portion of the flow is very difficult to measure in the field. As part of a longstanding research effort using computer simulations to study tornad
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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