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According to a paper on the arXiv (now published in Phys Rev D), they do. How credible is this result? The abstract says:

The detection of magnetic fields at high redshifts, and in empty intergalactic space, support the idea that cosmic magnetism has a primordial origin. Assuming that Maxwellian electromagnetism and general relativity hold, and without introducing any `new' physics, we show how the observed magnetic fields can easily survive cosmological evolution from the inflationary era in a marginally open Friedmann universe but fail to do so, by a very wide margin, in a flat or a marginally closed universe. Magnetic fields evolve very differently in open and closed Friedmann models. The existence of significant magnetic fields in the Universe today, that require primordial seeding, may therefore provide strong evidence that the Universe is marginally open and not marginally closed.

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I added the hyperlink to the paper. It looks like an intriguing argument. This is not an endorsement yet. ;-) – Luboš Motl Oct 6 '12 at 16:00
Thanks! I was in the process of adding the link and abstract as you were editing also.... – FrankH Oct 6 '12 at 16:03
@FrankH I'd be curious to here your answer... – user11547 Oct 26 '12 at 21:11
@HalSwyers I read the paper and it sounds convincing to me but I am far from an expert and there is a lot I did not fully understand so I was hoping some expert would explain whether they were convinced or could find flaws in the explanation. Inflation can still be consistent with a negatively curved open universe since the curvature can be very close to zero (which is what inflation would require) but still be non-zero. Experimentally the curvature is consistent zero with and experimental error of about 1%. So there is room for it to be slightly negatively curved. – FrankH Oct 26 '12 at 21:43
Shtanov and Sahni claim Barrow is wrong: – Ben Crowell Jun 7 '13 at 21:38

I'd say no, though the paper seems credible in its methods I believe it is neglecting to account for the fact that we can only measure the Visible Universe.

This may require a little explanation as I don't mean there are some extra layers or dimensions, but that we can only see $\dfrac{4}{3}\pi(14.5\cdot 10^{9}\ \mathit{ ly})^{3}$ of the Universe due to the limit of the speed of light, c.

The Universe itself however is much larger because Space-Time can (and has) expanded faster than c, and, if there are "edges" (which would make it open, but irrelevant b/c it's unreachable) likely still is to contain light.

Or if it's closed then the faster than c expansion in the early universe was what closed it off, but again made it too large with what time has passed to observe enough of it to make such a claim.

Just my thought from what I know of Astrophysics though.

There is also the notion the Universe must be Static to an Outside Omni-observer regardless of the non-static appearance internally, which an open universe doesn't scream static/conservation of everything to me.

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I must admit that I don't really understand some of the points here. The last paragraph doesn't make sense, especially because of the lack of an absolute/privileged reference frame. I'm also confused as to why things beyond the observable universe should impact the implications of magnetic fields on a Friedmann model to a strong extent, given that we generally assume homogeneity. – HDE 226868 Jan 13 at 23:08
Lack of of an absolute/privileged reference frame? In an obtainable sense yes, but where do you think assumptions like homogeneity are taken from? Same place, we can only assume homogeneity(which does not need to be preserved as seen in our visible sphere if over a larger sphere is different but truer) from the absolute/privileged reference frame by viewing all infinity at once. As for Magnetic Fields, and all things within the universe, they are limited by c but NOT the universe (space-time) itself, so what we cannot see can still influence the open/closed factors of the universe. – Void Serpent Jan 14 at 4:37

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