Using radio telescopes at the South Pole scientists from Harvard, the University of Minnesota, California Institute of Technology and Stanford are supposed to have looked far enough back in time to determine that there was in fact a big bang as we understand it. Supposedly they were able to make this determination by actually detecting (previously only theorized) gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background of the universe as it existed at the dawn of time. (This would constitute smoking gun evidence of a big bang as we understand it because the existence of such waves would imply an historical inflation of the universe consistent with the Big Bang theory.) Other scientists are saying that, if valid, the work would represent one of the most significant and meaningful accomplishments of science. Per the article:

 

.... Radio astronomers reported that they had seen the beginning of the Big Bang, and that his (Dr. Guth's)hypothesis, known undramatically as inflation, looked right....If corroborated, Dr. Kovac’s work will stand as a landmark in science comparable to the recent discovery of dark energy pushing the universe apart, or of the Big Bang itself. It would open vast realms of time and space and energy to science and speculation....Marc Kamionkowski of Johns Hopkins University, an early-universe expert who was not part of the team, said, “This is huge, as big as it gets.” He continued, “This is a signal from the very earliest universe, sending a telegram encoded in gravitational waves....Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at M.I.T., wrote in an email, “I think that if this stays true, it will go down as one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science.” ....”Dr. Kovac said the chance that the results were a fluke was only one in 10 million. Dr. Guth, now 67, pronounced himself “bowled over,” saying he had not expected such a definite confirmation in his lifetime....

 

There is, however, reason to exercise caution about the findings. Per the article:

 

Lawrence M. Krauss of Arizona State and others also emphasized the need for confirmation, noting that the new results exceeded earlier estimates based on temperature maps of the cosmic background by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite and other assumptions about the universe. “So we will need to wait and see before we jump up and down,” Dr. Krauss said.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/science/space/detection-of-waves-...

 

Update: Several scientists are now saying that there is an alternative explanation for the gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background of the universe. They are saying that instead of proving the big bang it is possible that the gravitational waves were created from an event that took place slightly after the beginning of the inflationary period of the universe. Per the article:

 

....Although this critical point phase change across the entire Universe was of a lower energy than the inflationary period that came before it, Dent and co. theorize that it would have created a violent ripple that could have spawned the gravitational waves that BICEP2 is now observing in the CMB.

 

http://news.discovery.com/space/gravitational-wave-discovery-might-...

Tags: Big Bang, Cosmic Microwave Background, Gravitational Waves, Inflation, Jubinsky, Universe

Views: 547

Replies to This Discussion

Time to stop thinking about delusions and those who live in denial.  Start paying attention to the great information flowing in faster than I can make sense of it. Oh! what a time to be alive! 

Joan, I saw ALMA on television. I love programs like that. And the new Cosmos show is awesome!

k.h. ky I agree with you, this type of programming is my great passion. Thankfully, I can get them on my computer. 

Thanks, John, I reposted on Twitter with attribution to you. 

I like the bit at the end.

How does science differ from religion?  Religionists grasp at anything that they think supports their conclusions and twist it to match as closely as possible.  Scientists are presented with something that seems to absolutely back up their theories in every way, and they step back saying, "Whoah, let's be absolutely sure here, before we go nuts about this."

Living with all that ackamarackus* gives me mind-cramps. They are all screwed up, grasp to their beliefs, block any idea that makes sense, and accuse us of being ... whatever. They aren't worth the effort to spend time or space with. 

*ackamarackus n.  cock and bull story, fabricated story, tall story, pack of lies.

Religionists also hunt vigorously for tiny bits of evidence that seem to support their belief in preposterous myths; such as the few biologists who say that evolution did happen on earth, but not quite according to Darwin's theories.  Religionists grab onto that, and say, "Aha! Genesis is right after all," completely ignoring the facts that a) scientists often disagree with each other until someone comes up with solid evidence to prove a theory, and b) just because Darwin, or some other naturalist, is not 100% right in every detail (because Darwin didn't have any of the DNA evidence we have today) doesn't mean their myth is a fact...it could be some other myth that is closer to the truth, or none at all.

I have very little scientific knowledge, but I have long been extremely fond of the Big Bang Theory (including the super-dense monobloc), and the fact that our Pale Blue Dot and everything on it, including ourselves, is made up of atoms and particles that were created by super-novae billions of years ago. We are indeed recycled "star stuff." 

That is much more comforting to me than a sky daddy who supposedly loves all his "children," but would probably send most of them to eternal torment (if such a fantasy existed)...and, as George Carlin said, always needs money.  An omniscient being who can't even handle money. 

Piffle.

I'm with you sk8. I find the thought of being made up of starstuff totally awe inspiring. And the thought of our bodies returning to the stuff of earth and planets brings me more peace than the thought ofanyone's god.

I so agree! k.h. ky. 

Has anyone ever asked a religionist....really pinned them down, and not let them squirm out with a cliche'....why their god always needs money?  Why she/he/it (say that last group of words real fast) can't provide them with the things they seem to need?

That was what the Bitch of Calcutta always said when asked about the increasing world population and the large numbers of the destitute..."ghod will provide."  Did anyone ask her, "Provide WHAT? Misery? Dead babies? Graves?  Funeral pyres?" 

Sorry to be so grim this morning, but the way these people avoid reality gets on my last nerve sometimes.  (I have diabetic neuropathy, so I don't have many nerves left...)

Felaine, very good question and one that I look forward to engaging in. I have pinned down about beliefs. 

Do you really believe ...?  Why?

What evidence do you have?

Why do you think the bible or preacher are telling you what actually happened?

What would happen if they were wrong, how would it change your life?

Can you be good without god? Why? Why Not?

What does it cost you to believe?

How would you benefit if you did not believe?

Who does the thinking for you?

Have you ever questioned your belief? 

etc.etc.etc

I have been asking for evidence for years, and all they can offer is their buybull. They get very huffy when I say you can't use the buybull as evidence for itself, and anyway, it's ALL hearsay...not one eyewitness account, unless you count Moses' description of his own death and burial.

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