What Are Gravitational Waves? The Big Discovery That Has Everyone Talking Is Evidence Of Cosmic Inflation

March 17, 2014 6:57 PM

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What Are Gravitational Waves? The Big Discovery That Has Everyone Talking Is Evidence Of Cosmic Inflation

Researchers from the CfA, the University of Minnesota, the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University contributed to the discovery. Rumors ahead of the announcement that predicted the researchers had used the BICEP2 telescope, located at the National Science Foundation’s South Pole Station, to find evidence of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), or the “afterglow of the Big Bang,” as a University of Minnesota press release put it, proved true.

The theory posits that immediately after the Big Bang, which occurred around 13.8 billion years ago, the inflation epoch began, when everything from particles to gravitational waves, or “ripples in space-time,” were sent outward. All of this happened in the span of 10 to 32 seconds, scientists from ...

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