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Posted by Alexander on January 18, 2001 01:51:00 UTC

Hubble mirror was polished in a military factory with practically no access and no control from scientists who ordered it. It was polished not over an accurate parabola as it supposed, but rather over a sphere (rough blunder in optics instrumentation, but considering bureaucracy of secrecy, possible one). Very limited number of people had access to it and no external tests were allowed to perform before launch.

Because the correction would be too expensive and timely (about 1.5 gigabucks to replace the 10-ft mirror by another one which could be made only in about 2 years), lower quality but quickier solution was implemented: replacement of the small secondary mirror by one with the specially polished shape to reduce the spherical aberration of the big one.

So this was not due to "misperseption" of the Universe, but just due to low quality of job performed by military institution.

Another remark. Because we see the Universe via light and because we see the same atoms on the visible edge of Universe make us confident that physics is the same everywhere in it and the same since many billion years ago. (=same h, c, G, e everywhere and all the time).

(So there are no new elements out there which would not "fit" today's physics, and we do not have to go there to prove it.)

This fact (that physics is the same in entire Universe and during its history) as well as known facts about behaviour of matter in high energy (collisions in accelerators) make us very confident about Big Bang.

Inflation theory is a development of the Big Bang theory back to the very early time in the history of Universe, and because at such high energies we do not have much experimental facts yet, the inflation theory is currently still in the transition state from being hypothesis to becoming a firm theory.


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