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Flat denial of Einstein's curved universe theory.

Christopher Columbus may have proved that the world is round, but cosmologists today showed that the universe is almost certainly flat.

One of the great unanswered questions of astrophysics has been whether space has a flat Euclidean geometry or is curved.

In the former case, the shape of the universe follows the familiar mathematical rules taught in every school.

But in a non-Euclidean universe, the same rules do not apply. Lines which appear straight are curved and light travels in arcs.

Albert Einstein first proposed the idea of a non-Euclidean universe in his theory of general relativity. But recently scientists have come to suspect that the cosmos is, after all, flat.

Today a team of American, Italian, Canadian and British cosmologists published data which seem to confirm once and for all that we live in a flat universe.

The findings come from the first detailed study of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) - an afterglow of ancient radiation left over from the Big Bang that created the universe up to 20 billion years ago.

Images of the CMB were obtained using a highly sensitive telescope suspended from a balloon almost 120,000ft above the Antarctic.

The project mapped minute temperature fluctuations that corresponded to structures in the early universe pre-dating the first star or galaxy.
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Title Annotation:National
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 27, 2000
Words:214
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