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Secrets of the Cosmic Microwave Background

 How might evidence from the cosmic microwave background, cosmic neutrino background, and primordial gravitational waves help physicists better comprehend the Big Bang, the Cosmological Constant, and the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics?

The question mark represents our current inability to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics, while the diagram depicts the interconnected hierarchy in empiricism and science itself. Theories can be crudely organized into a family tree where each might, at least in principle, be derivable from more fundamental ones above it. For example, classical mechanics can be obtained from special relativity in the approximation that the speed of light c is infinite, and hydrodynamics with its concepts such as density and pressure can be derived from statistical mechanics. 

 However, these cases where the arrows are well understood form a minority. Deriving biology from chemistry or psychology from biology appears unfeasible in practice. Only limited and approximate aspects of such subjects are mathematical, and it is likely that all mathematical models found in physics so far are similarly approximations of limited aspects of reality. 

 Source: The Mathematical Universe by Max Tegmark Dept. of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

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