A new study of the Bicep2's discovery of Big Bang waves has confirmed that the study is false. The team did not take stardust into account when it made its calculations, and that makes all the difference. This does not rule out the possibility that the Bicep2 recorded a wave from the Big Bang, but it does cast some new doubt onto the discovery.

The Bicep2 is an instrument which, placed in the South Pole on a telescope, measures cosmic waves. It measures gravitational waves and the polarization patterns of those waves, which make a curl called a B-mode. Last March, the Bicep2 made its own waves when the research team behind it announced that the instrument found gravitational waves left behind from the Big Bang. The waves matched Einstein's theory of relativity, and would have matched the theory of cosmic expansion.

However, the team chose not to take stardust into account in its calculations, which many scientists chastised them for at the time. A new study confirms that the stardust may have thrown off some of the team's calculations. A team of Planck scientists used the Planck HFIpolarization data to point out uncertainties in the data from the Bicep2 team. The researchers suggested a collaboration between the Planck Institute and the Bicep2 team to interpret the Bicep2 team's results with more certainty.

This discovery may be disappointing to some. It does not mean that the Bicep2's findings were wrong, however, only that there is more cause to doubt its results.

"Our work does not imply that they did not measure at all a cosmological signal. Moreover, due to the very different observation techniques and signal processing in the Bicep2 and Planck experiments, we cannot say how much of the signal they measured is due to dust," said Jonathan Aumont, one of the researchers at the Planck Institute. Aumont worked on the study casting doubt on the Bicep2 study.

The new study from the Planck Institute confirms the doubt many scientists had with the Bicep2 results. Raphael Flauger, a researcher at Princeton who was the first person to speak publicly about a possible problem with the Bicep2 study, said that Planck's findings confirmed his initial belief.

"It doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room, and it seems clear that at least the majority of the signal is caused by dust," Flauger told the New York Times.

In the meantime, we will have to wait and see what happens as the Bicep2 results are studied again, with stardust taken into account.

The Bicep name is an acronym for Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization.

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