Scientists confirm universe had growth spurt after the Big Bang
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 01:37
March 18 - Astronomers announce they've glimpsed a 'ripple' --- one of the key elements supporting the theory that the universe went through a massive growth spurt just after the Big Bang. Deborah Gembara reports.
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At Harvard University, even more evidence of Albert Einstein's genius.
Scientists here say they now have proof confirming his theory about how the universe grew so big, so fast, after the Big Bang.
For years, they've had a hunch that the universe went through a growth spurt just after the Big Bang --- expanding faster then the speed of light.
That rapid development or inflation, they believe, was possible because of ripples, also known as gravitational waves that could both stretch and squeeze space and time.
Until now, however, they had yet to see one.
(SOUNDBITE) MARC KAMIONKOWSKI, A PHYSICIST OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY AND ONE OF THE RESEARCHERS ON THE COLLABORATION, SAYING:
"This detection is cosmology's missing link. It's something that we thought should be there, but we weren't really sure and it has been eagerly sought now for two decades. This is not something that's just a home run, but a grand slam."
Scanning the sky from the South Pole, they say they've found a ripple.
SOUNDBITE(English) JOHN M.KOVAC, ASTRONOMER, HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS, SAYING:
"I think we should think of this measuring today as opening a new window on what we believe to be a new regime of physics. So, there's a lot to be done there with that signal - a signal of this size, as Marc was saying, could offer us a wealth of information about how the processes proceeded during inflation, how the energy density evolved during the times that the observable scales in our universe exited that horizon."
Even more exciting to scientists is the fact that the ripple is nearly twice as large as they expected.
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