Critical Dialogues in Cosmology

N.B. The following pages make heavy use of Tables and HTML 3.0 features, thus they may not look their best under older viewers!


At the Princeton meeting "Critical Dialogues in Cosmology" there was a session in which models for structure formation were rated. The session was chaired by Jim Peebles, with Carlos Frenk acting as Devil's Advocate. Here are the results.

Hubble Wars

There seemed to be general consensus that this was the first meeting in which the two sets of error bars overlapped! The first speaker presented the case for the short and young universe, while the second speaker presented the case for the long and old universe.

Memorable Quotes

These quotes are verbatim accurate (not!).

Visual Highlights

History of Beliefs

Martin Rees gave the introduction to the meeting, in which he showed plots of how strongly cosmologists have held various beliefs over the course of the last 35 years.

Omega vs Time

David Spergel showed a plot giving the value of Omega preferred by cosmologists as a function of time. Here is a loose interpretation of this plot, where we plot the redshift at which curvature domination sets in, as a function of year (specifically z_curv is 1/Omega - 1).

French translation here.

Douglas Scott & Martin White
Last revised: 11th July 1996