The most exciting results could come from the so-called B modes of the polarization data, which have never been measured. The strength of the gravity waves predicted to be generated by the universe’s inflationary phase determines the amplitudes of these B modes, so measuring them can pinpoint the best among competing models of inflation. Planck could, then, provide proof that the universe went through an inflationary phase and indicate the scale of the energy that drove it. “Of all the exciting science that we will do, this is the most exciting possible measurement of all,” says Jan Tauber, the European Space Agency’s chair of the Planck science team. And, as always, the best thing to come from Planck could be completely unexpected.
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Deeper into the Void".