It's almost a year to the day when the shattering announcement was made of the discovery of gravitational waves and the validation of the inflationary scenario appended onto the big bang. The discovery of the swirling patterns in the primeval universe by the BICEP2 team was heralded as the "smoking gun" for the evidence of the superluminal rapid expansion in the early universe that would allow the big bang to be compatible with the time that was available for the formation of supergalactic structures in the universe.
The fact that the Milky Way is much dustier than expected, and gravitational waves have be unconditionally dismissed as being due to mere dust by the findings of the Planck satellite have only strengthened, rather than undermined, the standard model of the Big Bang with inflation tagged on. This is indeed surprising--- even shocking, since it only shows how ingrained the standard model is and that no amount of proof---or lack thereof---will unseat it.
What was supposed to be a service to the physics community has turned into a censorship bureau. ArXiv is run by a group of computer technicians at Cornell University (with the blessings of the physics establishment) who claim that they are providing an invaluable service to the physics community by rapidly disseminating papers that would be of current interest. Rather the moderators of arXiv act as judge and jury as to what should and should not be posted on their web site.
Gravity waves are predicted by Einstein’s (not so general) theory of gravitation. Einstein’s prediction is wrong. Electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light and the finite speed is responsible for things like aberration and diffraction. Gravity shares no such optical properties that the retardation of the transmission of the force of gravity would provoke. In fact, any such retardation would raise havoc with the “clockwork behavior” of the orbit of the planets, and just about any other astronomical phenomenon.
Now that the data from the Planck probe is coming in [Washington Post, 22nd of September], it appears more and more likely that BICEP2 didn’t find the magic fountain of youth but rather some old bath tub water. What was the magic B-mode generated by primordial gravitational waves has turned out to be Rayleigh scattering of dust.
The inflationists contend that if Thomson scattering is rapid, the randomization of the photon directions destroys the quadrupole anisotropy. Thus, “the problem of understanding the polarization of the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) reduces to understanding the quadrupole temperature fluctuation at last scattering” (Wayne Hu). Leaving aside, for the moment, the temperature fluctuation that creates the quadrupole as a red-herring, let us discuss why a quadrupole moment does not enter at all into the discussion of the polarization of light.
In the vigil leading up to the Planck satellite confirmation of Bicep2 telescopic results of being the very first to observe gravitational waves from the early universe, or the B-model swirls of the CMB, which would be the distortions of space in the first one-hundred millionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the big bang, thereby validating inflation, it might not be a bad idea to take the following into consideration.