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​Discovery of rapid ‘cosmic inflation’ boosts Big Bang theory

Published time: March 18, 2014 00:40
Edited time: March 18, 2014 23:49
This undated handout photo courtesy of Steffen Richter shows the sun as it sets behind BICEP2 (in the foreground) and the South Pole Telescope (in the background) (VagabondPix.co/AFP, Steffen Richter)

This undated handout photo courtesy of Steffen Richter shows the sun as it sets behind BICEP2 (in the foreground) and the South Pole Telescope (in the background) (VagabondPix.co/AFP, Steffen Richter)

Scientists have detected the first direct proof of cosmic inflation, a theory that the universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times just after the Big Bang. If confirmed, the discovery marks a major point in understanding the universe's origins.

Around 14 billion years ago, waves of gravity rapidly pulsated through space immediately following the Big Bang, experts announced Monday at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Cosmic inflation was predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, but proof of the “first tremors of the Big Bang” provides an important connection to his work and the more enigmatic field of quantum mechanics.

The researchers stationed a telescope called BICEP2 in the South Pole which eventually found evidence of the oldest light in the universe, AFP reported.

BICEP2 was aimed at the “Southern Hole” beyond the galaxy where there is a low amount of dust or other extra galactic material that can obscure sight lines.

At a strength of 1016 gigaelectronvolts - higher than the researchers expected - the telescope detected small fluctuations in light waves within the hazy microwave glow left from the Big Bang. The gravitational waves reach back to just 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe exploded in all directions from a single point of infinitely dense energy.

"The CMB (cosmic microwave background) is a snapshot of the Universe 380,000 years after the big bang, when the radiation first streamed freely into space," head researcher John Kovac said in an interview with Nature. "But the gravitational-wave signal was imprinted on the CMB a tiny fraction of a second after the birth of the Universe."

Kovac said years of observations led to Monday’s announcement.

"Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today. A lot of work by a lot of people has led up to this point,” he said, adding his team analyzed the data for three years to ensure its validity.

The project included researchers from the likes of the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in addition to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics.

NASA said the data "not only help confirm that the universe inflated dramatically, but are providing theorists with the first clues about the exotic forces that drove space and time apart."

Harvard theorist Avi Loeb told AFP the findings offer "new insights into some of our most basic questions: Why do we exist? How did the universe begin?”

"These results are not only a smoking gun for inflation, they also tell us when inflation took place and how powerful the process was," Loeb said.

Comments (20)

 

Sharon Randall 20.06.2014 23:36

Albert Einstein also came up with the alternate paths theory. There are many paths and I believe there are many life paths. When someone interrupts a dream to show us or tell us something amazing, who IS that being? What if "God" sends us on a life path before we are born and we find out something about it we don't like in a barely minute period of time before being sent on that path, and then we do something on our own (free will in Heaven??) to not go on that path, then we end up disabled in some way here on Earth. What if delayed births that are natural delays in time are a result from this event?

 

Doc 12.06.2014 12:12

Quote/ The King is coming soon. You are welcome to apply the New testament and ask Him. Remember AD 70? How The Temple was destroyed exactly according to prophecy spanning thousands of years. [/quote]

It s mind boggling how people cling to their beliefs of god and how "HE" wants us to live. Except the one small problem w/ most religions... well ALL religions actually, people invented it!

From Sungods to Moongods to the " father, sun andHoly Gost" ?. they are all creations of people. There is more proof of the existence of ghosts then GOD.
God didn't come during the H E L L on earth period of WWII he aint comin!

 

James Cameron 06.04.2014 22:44

Jesus told me (in a dream) to tell the scientists E = pn1.

Dr Gisin sent pairs of photons in opposite directions along optical fibres. At the end of the fibres, the photons had to chose between alternate, equally possible pathways. The decisions always matched.
I was wondering about assumption with regard to microwaves.

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