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For release at 10 a.m. EDT April 29, 2001
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DASI Press Kit

South Pole experiment supports inflation theory of universe’s origin, measures density of ordinary and dark matter in universe
The leading theory regarding the origin of the universe has just passed another major test, one posed by University of Chicago astronomers and their colleagues working at a National Science Foundation observatory at the South Pole.
The theory, called cosmic inflation, proposes that the universe underwent a gigantic growth spurt in a fraction of a second just moments after the big bang. According to inflation, the largest structures in the universe trace their origins to the fundamental fuzziness of the subatomic world.
FULL RELEASE

Chronology of important cosmological research developments
Deuteronomy and Numbers
From Subatomic Quantum Fuzz to the Largest Structures in the Universe

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Images available:
each image links to a high-resolution, printable copy
A sample of four false-color maps of intensity variations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) from different parts of the sky created from data collected by the University of Chicago's Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI). The maps depict tiny deviations, on the order of one hundred thousandth of one degree, in the otherwise uniform 2.73 degree Kelvin background. The maps are a snapshot of the universe as it looked 14 billion years ago. DASI is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Graphic courtesy of the DASI Collaboration
The power spectrum that shows the new result recorded by the University of Chicago's Degree Angular Scale Interferometer. DASI records fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background as ripples of different sizes across the sky. The spectrum tells astrophysicists that ripples of certain sizes are stronger than ripples of other sizes. As predicted by cosmic inflation theory, the spectrum shows a strong peak at left, a second peak at center and strongly suggests a third peak at right.
Graphic courtesy of the DASI Collaboration
Ordinary Matter: From Quarks to Us
Graphic courtesy of Michael Turner, University of Chicago

Two views of the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer at the National Science Foundation's Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica at the South Pole. DASI sits atop the tower at left. The blue structure is the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory building. In the wide shot, the Viper telescope is visible on the ground at right.
Photos by John Kovac, University of Chicago


Three views of the University of Chicago's Degree Angular Scale Interferometer at the South Pole. DASI records slight temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background, the big bang's afterglow. The latest results from DASI substantiate the predictions of the leading theory regarding the origin of the universe. DASI is funded by the National Science Foundation.
Photos by John Yamasaki, University of Chicago
Members of the University of Chicago's DASI team pictured at the South Pole Amundsen Scott Station include (l-r, front row) Nils Halverson and Ethan Schartman, and (l-r, back row) Erik Leitch, John Yamasaki, Clem Pryke, John Carlstrom and Gene Davidson.
Photo by Stephanie Rowatt


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Last modified at 01:55 PM CST on Friday, September 12, 2003.

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