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Tribal Warfare 03-17-2014 05:14 PM

Scientists find cosmic ripples from birth of universe
Scientists find cosmic ripples from birth of universe

Published March 17, 2014

Astronomers have discovered what they believe is the first direct evidence of the astonishing expansion of the universe in the instant following the Big Bang -- the scientific explanation for the birth of the universe some 13.8 billion years ago.

Scientists believe that the universe exploded from a tiny speck and hurled itself out in all directions in the fraction of a second that followed, beginning just 10 to the minus 35 seconds (roughly one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second) after the universe's birth. Matter ultimately coalesced hundreds of millions of years later into planets, stars, and ultimately us.

And like ripples from a ball kicked into a pond, that Big Bang-fueled expansion caused ripples in the ancient light from that event, light which remains imprinted in the skies in a leftover glow called the cosmic microwave background.

Scientists still don’t know who kicked the ball.

But if confirmed, the newfound ripples would be amazing proof of what has long been mere theory about what happened in those first millionths of a second.

“The implications for this detection stagger the mind,” said Jamie Bock, professor of physics at Caltech, laboratory senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and project co-leader. “We are measuring a signal that comes from the dawn of time.”

"It would be the most important discovery since the discovery, I think, that the expansion of the universe is accelerating," Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, who is not a member of the study team, told He compared the finding to a 1998 observation that opened the window on mysterious dark energy and won three researchers the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics.

The groundbreaking results came from observations by BICEP2, a telescope at the South Pole, of the cosmic microwave background -- a faint glow left over from the Big Bang.

Beginning a fraction of a fraction of a second after the universe's birth, according to the current theory, space-time expanded incredibly rapidly, ballooning outward faster than the speed of light. The afterglow from that expansion is called the cosmic microwave background, and tiny fluctuations in it provide clues to conditions in the early universe.

For example, small differences in temperature across the sky show where parts of the universe were denser, eventually condensing into galaxies and galactic clusters.

Since the cosmic microwave background is a form of light, it exhibits all the properties of light, including polarization. On Earth, sunlight is scattered by the atmosphere and becomes polarized, which is why polarized sunglasses help reduce glare. In space, the cosmic microwave background was scattered by atoms and electrons and became polarized too.

“Our team hunted for a special type of polarization called ‘B-modes,’ which represents a twisting or ‘curl’ pattern in the polarized orientations of the ancient light,” said Bock.

The team presented their work at a press conference Monda at Harvard -- the discovery of that characteristic pattern of polarization in the skies, which they called proof of the gravitational waves across the primordial sky.

“This work offers 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,” Harvard theorist Avi Loeb said.

Dave Lane 03-17-2014 05:17 PM

Saw this. I hate all this photographic evidence of the Big Bang. First thing you know people aren't going to believe the TV show any more.

BigRedChief 03-17-2014 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by Dave Lane (Post 10498635)
Saw this. I hate all this photographic evidence of the Big Bang. First thing you know people aren't going to believe the TV show any more.

Wellll how we work on debunking the scientific misinformation out of bullshit mountain first?;)

Mr. Laz 03-17-2014 06:04 PM


Mohammed 03-17-2014 06:28 PM

Move along. Nothing to see here. Keep it moving. Have a nice day.

Jimmya 03-17-2014 06:30 PM

Until we find other species.... Then they can say it replicated.

saphojunkie 03-17-2014 06:31 PM

Stanford professor being told the big news.

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ping2000 03-17-2014 06:32 PM

Broncos just signed Cosmic Ripples to a three year 5.2 million dollar contract.

Eleazar 03-17-2014 07:05 PM

"My wife still has plenty of ripples from her births too, heyooooo"

Buzz 03-17-2014 07:11 PM

There is no God, the speaker cries,
Don't let your thoughts be chained.
This Universe evolved itself,
The world is self-contained,

Just then an urchin in the crowd
a skillful pebble throws,
which accidentally lands upon
the atheistic nose.

"Who threw that stone" the speaker roars;
at which the cockney elf,
intuitively keen, retorts
"No one ! it frew itself."

So a pathetic casualty
discomforted and worse
goes home to meditate upon
this causeless Universe !

author unknown

65TPT 03-17-2014 07:12 PM

Ruffles have ridges.

Tribal Warfare 03-17-2014 08:14 PM


Originally Posted by Mohammed (Post 10498851)
Move along. Nothing to see here. Keep it moving. Have a nice day.

Science, **** Yeah!

ping2000 03-17-2014 09:08 PM

Call me when they discover the Cosmic Nipples.

Simplicity 03-17-2014 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by ping2000 (Post 10499183)
Call me when they discover the Cosmic Nipples.

Exactly how I read the OP.

Al Bundy 03-17-2014 09:24 PM

The State of Kansas disagrees with this.

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