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Stanford Physicists Make Major Cosmic Discovery, Expanding Big Bang Theory

by Brandon Mercer
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Temperature variations in cosmic background radiation, the fossil light that remains from the Big Bang. (Photo: ESA and the Planck Collaboration, from Stanford News)

Temperature variations in cosmic background radiation, the fossil light that remains from the Big Bang. (Photo: ESA and the Planck Collaboration, from Stanford News)

STANFORD (CBS SF) — A discovery giving the first evidence of how the universe expanded in the trillionth of a second after the big bang nearly 14 billion years ago has physicists around the world rejoicing, but few can claim the same level of jubilation and vindication as Stanford professor Andrei Linde, who is one of the thought leaders who came up with the concept of what happened, called “cosmic inflation.”

This week, Stanford physicists working a telescope called BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2) at the South Pole discovered evidence that the universe expanded at speeds faster than the speed of light, which every student learns is the supposed fastest rate at which anything can travel.

In this trillionth of a second, the universe exploded at faster speeds than that constant, because of ripples in the very fabric of space-time.

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The discovery also found evidence of “gravitational waves” — something Albert Einstein had predicted 99 years ago, but had no evidence of until now.

Stanford’s Dr. Andrei Linde waited for 30 years to see proof of his theories, and now he has the evidence.  Watch the video as assistant professor Chao-Lin Kuo tells him the news.

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