Well, they do seem to be taking it seriously. At a recent meeting:
At the front of the room on July 15, two Nobel-winning physics titans debated the appropriate level of alarm. Cosmologist Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore queried theoretical particle physicist David Gross: How would particle physicists refer to a discrepancy this large?
“If we found something like this … we wouldn’t call it a tension or a problem, but rather a crisis,” said Gross, of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Scientists at the meeting immediately adopted the word “crisis” to describe the difference in expansion estimates. But not everyone agrees that the problem is real. In physicists’ version of a mic drop, a study appeared online that evening, challenging the narrative. A new version of the supernova technique found a value of the Hubble constant, the parameter that quantifies the universe’s expansion, that was consistent with the measurements from the early universe. So — a crisis, or not yet?Emily Conover, “Debate over the universe’s expansion rate may unravel physics. Is it a crisis?” at ScienceNews
Hey, we suspect: If the physics program’s funding were cut, now that’s a crisis. The universe can be whatever it is and that’s not really a crisis, not in the same way.
See also: Rob Sheldon: Here’s Why Physicists Are Surprised By The Universe’s Increased Expansion Rate
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