Boomerangs in Pop Culture: The Longest Space-Time Acronym Ever?

Posted by Jessica

I was perusing Google News today for my weekly Boomerangs in Pop Culture entry when I came across a New York Times obituary for a one Andrew Lange.  Lange, who died last month, was an astrophysicist who devoted much of his professional life to determining the movement, shape, and nature of the universe.  His method of choice was  employing  high-flying balloons to detect faint microwaves created during, and left over from, the Big Bang.  It was these microwaves that helped Lange and his research team determine the geometry of the universe.

His groundbreaking conclusion: the earth may be round, but the universe is flat, and it’s probably expanding.

So what was the name of this crazy experiment?  None other than “Boomerang,” standing for “Balloon Observations of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics.”

Should I be typing this “BOoMERanG?”  The New York Times didn’t specify.

Anyway, the Boomerang experiment earned tons of notoriety and science prizes.  If it didn’t change our entire perception of the universe (which it did, actually), at least it passed the true test: it was able to serve as this week’s pop culture post.


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