Big Bang Physicist Learns He's Been Proven Right, Gets Choked Up, And We Did Too — VIDEO
It's a big bang of a day for Andrei Dmitriyevich Linde, one of the authors of the inflationary universe theory, recently proven likely be accurate by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Those astronomers found gravitational waves in the space-time fabric — which is, basically, evidence that the universe did expand rapidly a fraction of second after the Big Bang. Shortly afterwards, one researcher went to Linde's house to tell him personally, and the whole thing was caught on tape.
To find out that Linde was correct, astronomer John M. Kovac led a team through an experiment called BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) in the South Pole. After years of telescopic observation, astronomers found the gravitational waves. According to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, gravitational waves, first predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity, are thought to be the "first tremors of the Big Bang."
Linde, a physics professor at Stanford, explained his inflation theory back in 1983. After news of the discovery emerged, Chao-Lin Kuo, a BICEP team member, knocked on Linde's door to share the good news and celebrate with a bottle of champagne. Linde's reaction is one for the books.
In the video, Linde says, “if this is true, this is a moment of understanding of nature of such a magnitude that it just overwhelms. Thank you so much for doing it.”
Kuo repeats “five sigma” over and over again, meaning the astronomers are confident their results are correct.
According to the Washington Post, Kovac and his team are very excited with the results: "[They] seem to match the prediction of the theory so closely. But it’s the case that science can never actually prove a theory to be true. There could always be an alternative explanation that we haven’t been clever enough to think of.”
Still, new discovery is being called one of the biggest discoveries in the field in the past 20 years.
Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope