Watch the Joy of One of the Authors of the Inflationary Universe Theory Finding Out Today’s Discovery March 17, 2014

Watch the Joy of One of the Authors of the Inflationary Universe Theory Finding Out Today’s Discovery

What a great day for science.

In 1980, physicist Alan Guth proposed inflationary theory to modify the current Big Bang theory. Whereas conventional wisdom was that the universe started as a fireball, Guth theorized that it, instead, “inflated extremely rapidly from a tiny piece of space and became exponentially larger in a fraction of a second. ”

Later that decade, Russian physicist Andrei Linde updated Guth’s hypothesis to what became known as “new inflation,” and then again revised it to “eternal chaotic inflation.”

Well, today, it appears that Linde was proven correct — new evidence from the South Pole appears to support his theory:

Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence supporting this theory, known as “cosmic inflation.” Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Admittedly, all of this is way over my head (#LiteratureMajor), but it’s a huge deal in the world of science… which is to say, the whole world. Check out Phil Plait‘s article for a better explanation.

Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo surprised Linde at his home with the news and his (and his wife’s) reactions were utterly priceless.

[My wife said] “It’s probably some kind of delivery. Did you order anything?” Yeah, I ordered it 30 years ago! Finally it arrived! 

Oh man, I have to admit I got a bit weepy there when I saw the look on his face.

Some other amazing reactions to the new news:

Okay, that one was me. But these are from Bill Nye:

And I have to include this one:

(Image via Shutterstock)

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