After the joint analysis by Planck, BICEP2 and Keck Array has been made public (arXiv:1502.00612) invalidating the March 2014 announcement by BICEP2 (arXiv:1403.3985v1), a Forbes contributor writes « When Science Gets It Wrong: Gravitational Waves ». Obviously, scientific institutions should be more careful before launching or supporting certain kinds of propaganda. But contrary to the OPERA announcement of September 2011 (arXiv:1109.4897v1), where the claimed evidence for a superluminal neutrino was finally found to result from a flaw in the experimental setup, nothing similar has happened in the BICEP2 experiment. Strictly speaking, Science (the experiment) did not get it wrong in the case of BICEP2. Instead, a phenomenological mistake biased the interpretation of the data. The controversy on cosmic inflation may also have generated some kind or urgency to publish a result « settling matters ». Precisely, recent debates have clearly reminded us that there is by now no evidence for cosmic inflation and no scientific reason to consider as established the cosmological pattern Big Bang + inflation + ΛCDM. As already emphasized in my posts « BICEP2 Data, CMB B-modes, Inflation, Alternative Cosmologies... (II) » and « Are There Evidences For Cosmic Inflation? (I) », alternative cosmologies deserve careful attention.

The joint Planck, BICEP2 and Keck Array analysis, , has been made public while I was completing my two contributions to the Proceedings of the ICNFP 2014 Conference (Kolymbari, Crete, July-August 2014, ). I have therefore introduced a few modifications to take into account this result.

But the basic content of my two papers remains unchanged and will be further developed in forthcoming posts, including my suggestion that the spinorial space-time (SST) that I introduced in 1996-97 can provide the appropriate space-time geometry to naturally generate Quantum Mechanics.  The SST also leads to a violation of standard causality at small distances, as spinorial wave functions necessarily take nonero values for future and past times. New space-time geometries, new ultimate constituents of matter, pre-Big Bang approaches... should be seriously considered in present-day Cosmology.

My two ICNFP 2014 papers are : « BICEP2, Planck, spinorial space-time, pre-Big Bang » and « Tests and prospects of new physics at very high energy ». It is clearly argued that there is by now no proof of the validity of the standard cosmological scenario, and that unconventional patterns based on pre-Big Bang, new space-time geometries like the SST and new ultimate constituents of matter like superbradyons must be taken into account in data analyses.

Assuming that B-modes of primordial cosmic microwave background radiation are finally observed, this will by no means provide a direct evidence for gravitational waves generated by cosmic inflation, as other cosmological models can produce such primordial B-modes.

The abstracts and other links of the final versions of my two ICNFP 2014 contributions are:

BICEP2, Planck, spinorial space-time, pre-Big Bang

On the possible origin of primordial CMB B-modes and gravitational waves. Potentialities of alternative cosmologies and open questions.

The field of Cosmology is currently undergoing a positive and constructive crisis. Controversies concerning inflation are not really new. But after the 2013-2014 Planck and BICEP2 announcements, and the more recent joint analysis by Planck, BICEP2 and the Keck Array (PBKA), the basic issues can involve more direct links between the Mathematical Physics aspects of cosmological patterns and the interpretation of experimental results.

Open questions and new ideas on the foundations of Cosmology can emerge, while future experimental and observational programs look very promising. The BICEP2 result reporting an excess of B-mode polarization signal of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation was initially presented as a signature of primordial gravitational waves from cosmic inflation. But polarized dust emission can be at the origin of such a signal, and the evidence claimed by BICEP2 is no longer secure after the PBKA analysis. Furthermore, even assuming that significant CMB B-mode polarization has indeed been generated by the early Universe, its theoretical and cosmological interpretation would be far from obvious.

Inflationary gravitational waves are not the only possible source of primordial CMB B-modes. Alternative cosmologies such as pre-Big Bang patterns and the spinorial space-time (SST) we introduced in 1996-97 can naturally produce this polarization. Furthermore, the SST automatically generates for each comoving observer a local privileged space direction (PSD) whose existence may have been confirmed by Planck data.

If such a PSD exists, vector perturbations have most likely been strong in the early Universe and may have produced CMB B-modes. Pre-Big Bang cosmologies can also generate gravitational waves in the early Universe without inflation. After briefly describing detectors devoted to the study of the CMB polarization, we discuss the situation emerging from BICEP2 results, Planck results and the PBKA analysis.

In particular, we further analyze possible alternatives to the inflationary interpretation of a primordial B-mode polarization of cosmic microwave background radiation.

Tests and prospects of new physics at very high energy

Beyond the standard basic principles, and beyond conventional matter and space-time. On the possible origin of Quantum Mechanics.

Recent results and announcements by Planck and BICEP2 have led to important controversies in the fields of Cosmology and Particle Physics. As new ideas and alternative approaches can since then more easily emerge, the link between the Mathematical Physics aspects of theories and the interpretation of experimental results becomes more direct.

This evolution is also relevant for Particle Physics experiments at very high energy, where the interpretation of data on the highest-energy cosmic rays remains a major theoretical and phenomenological challenge. Alternative particle physics and cosmology can raise fundamental questions such as that of the structure of vacuum and space-time. In particular, the simplified description of the physical vacuum contained in standard quantum field theory does not necessarily correspond to reality at a deeper level, and similarly for the relativistic space-time based on four real variables.

In a more general approach, the definition itself of vacuum can be a difficult task. The spinorial space-time (SST) we suggested in 1996-97 automatically incorporates a local privileged space direction (PSD) for each comoving observer, possibly leading to a locally anisotropic vacuum structure. As the existence of the PSD may have been confirmed by Planck, and a possible discovery of primordial B-modes in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) may turn out to contain new evidence for the SST, we explore other possible implications of this approach to space-time.

The SST structure can naturally be at the origin of Quantum Mechanics at distance scales larger than the fundamental one if standard particles are dealt with as vacuum excitations. We also discuss possible implications of our lack of knowledge of the structure of vacuum, as well as related theoretical, phenomenological and cosmological uncertainties. Pre-Big Bang scenarios and new ultimate constituents of matter (including superbradyons) are crucial open subjects, together with vacuum structure and the interaction between vacuum and standard matter.