Massive Neutrinos Solve A Cosmological Conundrum
Scientists have solved a major problem with the current standard model of cosmology by combining results from the Planck spacecraft and measurements of gravitational lensing to deduce the mass of ghostly sub-atomic particles called neutrinos.
The team, from the universities of Nottingham and Manchester, used observations of the Big Bang and the curvature of space-time to accurately measure the mass of these elementary particles for the first time.
The recent Planck spacecraft observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) – the fading glow of the Big Bang – highlighted a discrepancy between these cosmological results and the predictions from other types of observations.
The CMB is the oldest light in the Universe, and its study has allowed scientists to accurately measure cosmological parameters, such as the amount of matter in the Universe and its age. But an inconsistency arises when large-scale structures of the Universe, such as the distribution of galaxies, are observed.