Strangest thing! On the eve of the Planck Satellite News Conference, NASA Scientist John Mather is making less than enthusiatic comments about the Planck scientists even before these guys have opened their mouth. Here is the BBC news feature published yesterday.

As far as I know, the Planck folks treated Smoot and Mather warmly as Planck insiders, and even invited Mather to a briefing in Europe recently. Science-wise and engineering-wise Planck is an European Satellite, with the US providing some help with computation using Planck data. So why is Mather making these noises and distancing himself from his fellow satellite scientists?

What exactly is he trying to do here by raising in advance and in public the issue if the Planck people have done “the right things with the data”? Is he raising specter of doubt for a purpose?

Here are portions of that report:

“I’m hoping there’s something surprising there for them. If they just say, ‘well, other people were right’ – that’s not exciting; the last decimal places are never very interesting. What we want is some new phenomenon.”

American Nobel Laureate John Mather believes the bar has been set very high for the European Space Agency’s (Esa) Planck surveyor.


“Planck has the extra sensitivity and resolution to retrieve yet more information,” the Nasa scientist told BBC News. “The question then is: have they done the right things with the data?”

The same report also suggests that Planck will refine the Big Bang concepts such as inflation [which takes place within 10**(-34) sec of the Big Bang].

I hope very much the Planck people will completely disassociate their satellite from Big Bang. Otherwise, it is like taking a great refreshing bath and then getting out of the tub, drying yourself with a smelly used towel and putting on your sweaty old clothes.

I am sure there is great pressure from the bigbangistas to press the results of Planck into the service of Big Bang Partie Trois, that is Big Bang without the 2.7 K relic blackbody. Remember Part Deux was Big Bang without Doppler Shift. This saga will continue thusly – it has nothing to with science.

If scientists at large were allowed start afresh with virgin Planck data, there will emerge great good physics, even beneficial physics. Why instead carry the old baggage that is not yours to bear?


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