Bazinga?! Direct Evidence of Big Bang Seen in Inflation of Glow in Universe; Gravitational Waves Detected!
13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang happened. So we are told.
However, most of us, scientists included, had to take that fact as a matter of faith, since there has never been any direct evidence of the ?birth of the universe? to back it up.
Scientists have discovered direct proof that the Big Bang actually happened. It also gives credence to the belief that the creation of the universe happened in an ?eye-blinking? trillionth of a second right, after the Big Bang ?explosion?.
A physicist at the California Institute of Technology, who is not part of the program , Sean Carrol , noted that ?It teaches us something crucial about how our universe began…It’s an amazing achievement that we humans, doing science systematically for just a few hundred years, can extend our understanding that far.?
The evidence the scientists found also points to the validity of ?Gravitational Waves?, which was first brought to our attention by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity.
These waves, referred to as ?ripples? in the space-time continuum, are considered, according to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, as the ?first tremors of the Big Bang.?
The scientists were able to make the discovery using BICEP2, a telescope located at the South Pole.
BICEP2 stands for Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? What the telescope discovered is even more astonishing.
BICEP2 enabled the scientific team to study the polarization of light that was left over from the early universe. This led to the discovery of an ?inflation? that is evidence of the expansion of the universe right after the Big Bang.
Another professor of astronomy and physics, Mr. Marc Kamionowski, who was also not part of the team, nonetheless said that the discovery of the telescope serves as the ?smoking gun for inflation?.
Members of the scientific team involved in this monumental discovery shared their thoughts on the theory of inflation. From Stanford and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, assistant professor of physics Chao-Lin Kuo, who is co-leader of the team that worked with BICEP2, said in a video message that ?Inflation is the theory about the ‘bang’ of Big Bang….It explains why we have all this stuff in the universe.?
Co-team member Kent Irwin of Stanford, who handled the sensory systems that collected readouts and data, compared inflation to baking a raisin bun. He said that as the dough is baked, it expands, and the distance between the raisins increases.
He adds that ?Certainly everything in the universe that we see now, at one time before inflation, was smaller than an electron…And then it expanded during inflation at faster than the speed of light…You may have learned in physics class that light sets the universe’s speed limit, but space-time is an exception; it can stretch faster than the speed of light.?
To understand the discovery better, we must first understand what “gravitational waves? are.
In what they refer to as the ?fabric of time and space?, there are ripples that exist and called quantum fluctuations. However, they are so microscopic, that it can hardly be seen.
Such quantum fluctuations existed since the birth of the universe and they have been ?blown up? by inflation. This ?blowing up? results in the gravitational waves that are marked on what scientists call the ?cosmic microwave background?.
And these imprints or markings are what was seen by the BICEP2 telescope. Irwin adds that ?These gravitational waves are an aftershock of the Big Bang…The BICEP2 study is the first to image them directly.?
From the University of Minnesota, associate professor Clem Pryke sums up the significance of the discovery as such ?We have for the first time a detection for the mythical gravity wave signal that people have been searching for so hard, for so long.?