Seeking the Cosmic Dawn
In a tiny fraction of a second, an outburst of energy propelled our universe from a hot, dense point to cosmic size. This theoretical outburst, called inflation, provides a fantastically accurate explanation of why the cosmos is the way it is. Among other things, it predicts the pattern of temperature blotches astronomers observe in their earliest view of the cosmos, the cosmic microwave background (CMB). But thereís still no conclusive evidence that inflation happened.
Now, a team of astronomers using the South Pole Telescope (SPT) in Antarctica has detected a pattern in the CMB that might help reveal inflationís signature.