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Scientists discover Big Bang's 'smoking gun'

Posted on Monday, 17 March, 2014 | Comment icon 25 comments

The find is being hailed as 'spectacular'. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
The extraordinary find is being hailed as one of the most groundbreaking discoveries in cosmology.
One of the fundamental concepts behind the Big Bang theory is that an infinitesimal fraction of a second after the universe came in to being there was a period of super-rapid expansion known as "inflation". The new discovery, made by an American research team using a special telescope located at the South Pole, is of the space-time ripples left behind by this expansion during the earliest moments of the cosmos.

"Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today," said astrophysicist Prof John Kovac. "A lot of work by a lot of people has led up to this point."

The discovery of these early waves of gravitational energy represents a massive step forward in our understanding of the universe and provides the clearest evidence yet of this period of rapid expansion.

"I can't tell you how exciting this is," said Dr Jo Dunkley. "Inflation sounds like a crazy idea, but everything that is important, everything we see today - the galaxies, the stars, the planets - was imprinted at that moment, in less than a trillionth of a second. If this is confirmed, it's huge."

Source: BBC News | Comments (25)

Tags: Big Bang, Inflation

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Rlyeh on 19 March, 2014, 17:54
Two questions that demonstrates your misconception of research and discovery. Proofs are final, scientific research is not. It is a new discovery. Scientific theories are required to support the evidence, your "prove their theories" is a redundant statement. You can only speak for yourself about not being bright enough.
Comment icon #17 Posted by AZDZ on 19 March, 2014, 18:04
You mean, it isn't about science being correct, it is about religion being incorrect?
Comment icon #18 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 21 March, 2014, 16:51
Most amazing thing is how every few planets has its own star/sun
Comment icon #19 Posted by Rlyeh on 22 March, 2014, 15:40
Sure you haven't got that backward?
Comment icon #20 Posted by StarMountainKid on 23 March, 2014, 1:58
What strikes me in this discovery is that it is finally shown that gravity is quantized, if my understanding is correct. Perhaps this can lead to a theory of quantum gravity, which would be a big help in combining gravity with quantum mechanics.
Comment icon #21 Posted by sepulchrave on 23 March, 2014, 5:11
I don't think this discovery shows that gravity is quantized. Proving that would be an incredibly huge discovery, because there still is considerable debate on whether or not gravity "should" be quantized. The present discovery provides powerful evidence in favour of the inflationary model of the big bang, and the existence of gravitational waves. Both of these theories have been accepted as true for decades. I think this discovery parallels the recent observation of the Higgs boson in many ways - both discoveries help validate theories that most physicists believed to be true.... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by StarMountainKid on 23 March, 2014, 16:54
Comment icon #23 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 23 March, 2014, 17:28
Well it is known that the universe was created by Hugh Laurie and Steven Fry, so it all makes sense
Comment icon #24 Posted by bison on 24 March, 2014, 14:59
In the video, linked below, Andrei Linde of Stanford University, one of the 'founding fathers' of cosmic inflation theory is told about the new discovery. He soon remarks that the signs of gravity waves just detected are: 'purely quantum gravity feature of what was produced in the big bang'.

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