- Whoa March 17
Physicists have long speculated that a massive, universe-creating explosion would produce some sort of enormous observable shockwave. But they've never been able to find proof that such an aftershock — which would indicate an event like the Big Bang actually happened — did indeed ripple through space billions of years ago.
That is, until now. Harvard scientists announced Monday that they found evidence of gravitational waves — "ripples in the universe," as Scientific American's Clara Moskowitz put it. Such a finding could help prove the decades-old theory of inflation, which holds that the entire observable universe hurtled outward into existence after an initial explosion. Using a high-powered telescope based at the South Pole to conduct an experiment known as Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization, the scientists detected signs of gravitational waves just a teensy fraction of a second after the Big Bang is believed to have happened.
The finding has yet to be confirmed by other experts, but if it holds up, it would be a groundbreaking revelation in the field. So to all the physicists out there:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- How Rand Paul's GOP opponents will use his minority outreach against him
Subscribe to the Week