Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Shaping a Universe," by Barry Cipra. Science, 22 June 2001, page 2237.

This article appears as a sidebar to "Peering Backward to the Cosmos's FieryBirth," by Charles Seife. The main article deals with cosmic microwavebackground (CMB) and the big bang. Cipra's article describes how differentshapes of the universe would lead to different sorts of cosmic microwavebackground. Thus it is hoped that the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, asatellite launched to measure CMB and its fluctuations, will provide data tohelp determine the shape of the universe. Flat shapes, shapes with positivecurvature and those with negative curvature are illustrated and described.

--- Mike Breen