PHYS: Test of Tipler's hypothesis soon possible

Max More (
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 22:44:40 -0700

Frank Tipler's claims, which rely on the universe being destined for
colllapse, are coming closer to being testable...

HIGH-PRECISION COSMOLOGY will be possible in the next few
years through new measurements of the cosmic microwave
background (CMB)---with NASA's MAP satellite and the
European's Planck satellites---and expanded catalogs of galaxy
locations with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (a million redshifts to
be recorded in 5 years). Several years ago the COBE satellite took
the temperature of the universe; the new CMB and galaxy studies
should go far to "weigh" the universe and determine whether it will
expand forever or collapse. Actually, the universe's vitae are
expressed more scientifically in terms of parameters such as omega
(energy density), lambda (cosmological constant), and H (Hubble
constant). Max Tegmark of the Institute for Advanced Study
( has estimated the effect of the new data on each of
these parameters. For example, big blobs in the CMB map imply
a large value for omega, which in turn suggests the universe will
collapse. Small blobs imply a smaller omega and an expanding
universe. Higher resolution samplings of tiny portions of the CMB,
such as that made with the Saskatoon detector in northern Canada,
observe blobs at a size that stands midway between that
corresponding to an open and shut universe. The new data should
settle the matter. (Tegmark,in Physical Review Letters, tent. 3
Nov.; see figures at

Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,