Astronomers have discovered traces of gravitational waves in the relict radiation, confirming the inflationary model of the universe. As stated by leading scientists around the world, this long-awaited finding will soon be nominated for the Nobel Prize.
The announcement of the discovery about of new evidence supporting the inflationary model of the universe caused an unprecedented excitement in the scientific world.
The central idea of this model states that our universe is only one “unit” in an infinite and ever-expanding set of unrelated parallel universes which form the so-called multiverse.
The existence of the multiverse is suggested by other theories such as string theory and by such fields of theoretical physics as quantum mechanics.
“If there is inflation, then there is multiverse. Any proof of inflation brings us closer to verifying the existence of the multiverse,” says Andrei Linde, author of the theory of cosmic inflation and Professor of Physics at Stanford University.
The researchers claim to have managed to detect a celestial signal arising from the ultrafast expansion of the universe after a split second after the Big Bang.
Of course, the results should be double-checked by independent experts, but world-renowned scientists do not doubt their authenticity. Most likely, the authors of this work will soon be nominated for the Nobel Prize in physics.
The results were obtained by the American group of researchers working on the BICEP2 project. They processed the data of the radio telescope at the South Pole, which is continuously recording celestial signals.
The scientists were trying to find some traces of the inflation of the universe, i.e. the exponential expansion of space just after the Big Bang.
The inflationary universe model suggests the appearance of giant gravitational waves directly after the birth of the world, which should leave a trace in the relic microwave radiation, which has long been discovered by astronomers.
These were the traces, i.e. polarization of the magnetic mode (B- mode) of radiation, that were discovered by the researchers during the BICEP2 experiment. Only gravitational waves resulting from inflationary phase of expansion of the universe could leave such a mark in the CMB.
Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago in his famous general theory of relativity (GTR). Thus, in addition, the scientists managed to get one more convincing proof of general relativity.
“The discovery gives us unprecedented opportunities in a completely new field of physics, which will explore the phenomena that occurred immediately after the Big Bang,” said Professor John Kovac, head of the BICEP2 group.
The most amazing thing is that the traces discovered in the signal were much stronger than the scientists expected, which allows them to automatically exclude a number of theories in the inflationary universe model.