The measurement of the polarization of cosmic microwave background (CMB) is
a new field and this paper sets the stage for future observations.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper
in layman's terms?
We measure the polarization in light left over from the Big Bang over large
swaths of sky. The degree of polarization tells us when the first stars
formed. Armed with this information, we can account for the "screen"
between us and the "surface of last scattering" and begin to probe the
quantum mechanics of the infant universe.
How did you become involved in this research, and
were there any problems along the way?
I've been in the field since graduate school. I was one of the designers of
the satellite, WMAP, that gave us the data.
Where do you see your research leading in the
Learning more about the Big Bang and the physics of the early universe.
Do you foresee any social or political implications
for your research?
Mostly social. The study of the universe on its largest scales and earliest
times is now a well-established scientific field in the academic community.
This will take a while to become a component of what society in general
views as science.
Prof. Lyman A. Page Jr.
Dept. of Physics
Princeton, NJ, USA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
(WMAP) 1 ¦
View another commentary by
Page from a Fast Breaking Paper (same as above) in April
2008. • David N. Spergel
in past features;1 |
• Charles Bennett in past features;
• Edward L. Wright in past features;
• Licia Verde in a past feature
• SCI-BYTES (archived) as the
Hot Paper in Physics (First-year Wilkinson Microwave
Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations..."