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Nature. 2003 Oct 9;425(6958):593-5.

Dodecahedral space topology as an explanation for weak wide-angle temperature correlations in the cosmic microwave background.

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Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France.


The current 'standard model' of cosmology posits an infinite flat universe forever expanding under the pressure of dark energy. First-year data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) confirm this model to spectacular precision on all but the largest scales. Temperature correlations across the microwave sky match expectations on angular scales narrower than 60 degrees but, contrary to predictions, vanish on scales wider than 60 degrees. Several explanations have been proposed. One natural approach questions the underlying geometry of space--namely, its curvature and topology. In an infinite flat space, waves from the Big Bang would fill the universe on all length scales. The observed lack of temperature correlations on scales beyond 60 degrees means that the broadest waves are missing, perhaps because space itself is not big enough to support them. Here we present a simple geometrical model of a finite space--the Poincaré dodecahedral space--which accounts for WMAP's observations with no fine-tuning required. The predicted density is Omega(0) approximately 1.013 > 1, and the model also predicts temperature correlations in matching circles on the sky.

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