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See Inside August 2005

Is the Universe Out of Tune?

Like the discord of key instruments in a skillful orchestra quietly playing the wrong piece, mysterious discrepancies have arisen between theory and observations of the "music" of the cosmic microwave background. Either the measurements are wrong or the universe is stranger than we thought

Imagine a fantastically large orchestra

playing expansively for 14 billion years. At first, the strains sound harmonious. But listen more carefully: something is off key. Puzzlingly, the tuba and bass are softly playing a different song.

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