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  • The Milky Way

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  • Planck: Demographics and Diversity

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    Another aspect of Planck’s legacy bears examining. A couple of months ago, the 2018 Gruber Prize in Cosmology was awarded to the Planck Satellite. This was (I think) a well-deserved honour for all of us who have worked on Planck during the more than 20 years since its conception, for a mission which confirmed a…

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  • (Almost) The end of Planck

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    This week, we released (most of) the final set of papers from the Planck collaboration — the long-awaited Planck 2018 results (which were originally meant to be the “Planck 2016 results”, but everything takes longer than you hope…), available on the ESA website as well as the arXiv. More importantly for many astrophysicists and cosmologists,…

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  • Leon Lucy, R.I.P.

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    I have the unfortunate duty of using this blog to announce the death a couple of weeks ago of Professor Leon B Lucy, who had been a Visiting Professor working here at Imperial College from 1998. Leon got his PhD in the early 1960s at the University of Manchester, and after postdoctoral positions in Europe…

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  • WMAP Breaks Through

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    It was announced this morning that the WMAP team has won the $3 million Breakthrough Prize. Unlike the Nobel Prize, which infamously is only awarded to three people each year, the Breakthrough Prize was awarded to the whole 27-member WMAP team, led by Chuck Bennett, Gary Hinshaw, Norm Jarosik, Lyman Page, and David Spergel, but…

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  • The Chandrasekhar Mass and the Hubble Constant

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    The first direct detection of gravitational waves was announced in February of 2015 by the LIGO team, after decades of planning, building and refining their beautiful experiment. Since that time, the US-based LIGO has been joined by the European Virgo gravitational wave telescope (and more are planned around the globe). The first four events that…

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  • JSONfeed

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    More technical stuff, but I’m trying to re-train myself to actually write on this blog, so here goes… For no good reason other than it was easy, I have added a JSONfeed to this blog. It can be found at http://andrewjaffe.net/blog/feed.json, and accessed from the bottom of the right-hand sidebar if you’re actually reading this…

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  • Python Bug Hunting

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    This is a technical, nerdy post, mostly so I can find the information if I need it later, but possibly of interest to others using a Mac with the Python programming language, and also since I am looking for excuses to write more here. (See also updates below.) It seems that there is a bug…

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  • Knightian Uncertainty

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    [Update: I have fixed some broken links, and modified the discussion of QBism and the recent paper by Chris Fuchs— thanks to Chris himself for taking the time to read and find my mistakes!] For some reason, I’ve come across an idea called “Knightian Uncertainty” quite a bit lately. Frank Knight was an economist of…

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  • SOLE Survivor

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    I recently finished my last term lecturing our second-year Quantum Mechanics course, which I taught for five years. It’s a required class, a mathematical introduction to one of the most important set of ideas in all of physics, and really the basis for much of what we do, whether that’s astrophysics or particle physics or…

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