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First waves create Nobel certainty

Nobel prizes surely await those who have confirmed the earliest moments of the universe

By Philip Ball   April 2014

The scale and development of the universe over time. ©BICEP2 2014

The discovery reported on 17th March by US scientists changed at a stroke our conception of the universe. It offered convincing evidence that, within a fraction of a second after the universe was born in the Big Bang, it underwent a period of very rapid growth called “inflation”. This produced a vast number of “gravitational waves,” a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Evidence of these waves has never been seen before.

Finding evidence for either inflation…

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