cosmic microwave background
Robert Wilson (right) and his former Bell Labs research collaborator, Arno Penzias, standing in front of the horn antenna
Astronomers using the BICEP2 radio telescope at the South Pole announced in March that they had found a faint twisting pattern
If confirmed, the recently detected potential ripples from the Big Bang represent an imprint on the cosmic microwave background by gravitational waves. Those gravitational waves are produced through a quantum process, providing, for the first time (again, if confirmed), evidence that gravity is governed by quantum mechanics. This point cannot be overemphasized.
A handful of physics articles from 50 years ago have become central to the way physicists think about matter and the cosmos today -- so central, in fact, that we can sometimes forget that these foundational ideas even have a history.
Now the CMB is freezing cold — around minus 454 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 270 degrees Celsius; 3 degrees Kelvin). It cooled
At first, there was nothing — complete and utter emptiness. Zero energy and zero matter. "It is like finding two cups of
During inflation, the idea goes, the universe expanded faster than the speed of light, doubling in size 100 times or more
This story originally appeared in Nature News. In Liddle and Cortês’s scenario, the asymmetry of the CMB would derive from
"There is a hint that the universe did not evolve exactly the way we expected," Dr. Eric Linder, a theoretical physicist
The night sky, sprinkled with twinkling stars and the pale light of a silvery Moon, has fascinated humans since the dawn of history. But, why is it dark? If you think that the answer is: "Because you don't see the Sun," think again.