Yesterday Stanford announced that the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation and gravitational waves may have been found. Chao-Lin Kuo, designer of the BICEP-2 detector that made the breakthrough, went to personally surprise Father of Inflation Andre Linde with the news that his life’s work had just been validated. Beware: tearjerker territory.
For anyone still grappling with the exact astrophysical significance of Stanford’s discovery, Kuo and Linde’s joyful conversation won’t provide much scientific insight. However, the joy in their interaction is an incredible glimpse into the emotional significance that, as Kuo very technically puts it, “explain[ing] why we have all the stuff in the Universe” has for our species.
Personally, I’m still a little confused as to why papers that haven’t been peer reviewed are being lauded by media outlets and scientists as fact– perhaps Linde is the ultimate peer reviewer? If that’s the case, though, even the father of inflation himself seems to have some doubts, saying over a glass of celebratory adult beverage, “let’s just hope that this is not a trick. What if I believe this just because it’s beautiful?”
Welp, that does it. Stanford’s papers are not peer reviewed yet, but a Big Bang still definitely happened– Linde just made my heart grow two sizes.
(via Universe Today)
- Here’s the livestream of yesterday’s big news
- Maybe this will make things clearer
- Competitive eaters very invested in black holes