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Scientists discover Big Bang's 'smoking gun'


Posted on Monday, 17 March, 2014 | Comment icon 24 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 (24)

Tags: Big Bang, Inflation

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by Tsurugi on 19 March, 2014, 17:22
Not that I have a problem with this news, I am just curious how many times they have to prove the BBT before it's truly considered proven? Hopefully it won't ever be considered "proven", because science is supposed to be based on falsification, not "proof". Proof is for math. Science seeks truth by defining what is false.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Rlyeh on 19 March, 2014, 17:54
I didn't say that. I asked two questionsTwo questions that demonstrates your misconception of research and discovery. Proofs are final, scientific research is not.Both questions have to do with why they are wrapping this discovery up in a shiny new bow and rolling it out as if this is the clincher, this is what they needed to prove thier theories correct.It is a new discovery.Scientific theories are required to support the evidence, your "prove their theories" is a redundant statement. They already had that with the discovery of CBR so why not roll this out as supplemental proof which works in... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by AZDZ on 19 March, 2014, 18:04
Hopefully it won't ever be considered "proven", because science is supposed to be based on falsification, not "proof". Proof is for math. Science seeks truth by defining what is false. 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
Most amazing thing is how every few planets has its own star/sun 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
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. 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... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by StarMountainKid on 23 March, 2014, 16:54
The BICEP2 data would eliminate about 90% of inflationary models, Andrei Linde, a cosmologist at Stanford University in California, told a packed auditorium at MIT the day after the BICEP2 announcement (see picture below). Many of those models do not produce gravitational waves at detectable levels, said Linde, who is one of the founders of inflation theory.But he said that the findings would agree remarkably well with ‘chaotic inflation’, a simple version of inflation Linde developed 30 years ago. In Linde's model, inflation never completely ends, stopping only in limited pockets of space, wh... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 23 March, 2014, 17:28
Not to throw water on the party but the last sentence of the article: "If this is confirmed, it's hugh." 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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