Physics World Top 10 Breakthrough of the Year awarded to Planck space telescope
7 January 2014
A Physics World Top 10 Breakthrough of the Year has been awarded to the scientists working on the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope "To scientists working on the European Space Agency's Planck space telescope for making the most precise measurement ever of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation."
The High Frequency Instrument optics on board were built and tested in the UK with substantial involvement of UCL staff in the Astrophysics group. Dr Giorgio Savini was deeply involved in the characterisation of the instrument, so that high precision cosmological results can be extracted, and Dr Hiranya Peiris has used the data obtained to test the physics of the very early universe. Dr Jason McEwen, until recently a Newton International Fellow in the group, set tight limits on the geometry and topology of the universe using these data, and postdoctoral researchers in the group, Drs Aurélien Benoit-Lévy and Franz Elsner, made major contributions to the cosmological interpretation of the data.
Cosmic-microwave-radiation-background anisotropies observed by Planck. (Courtesy: ESA/Planck Collaboration)