We may have “smoking gun” evidence the universe expanded with unmatchable speed in its earliest moments. So what does this mean? Three theoretical physicists -- Daniel Baumann, Michael S. Turner and Paul Steinhardt -- consider the evidence, its implications and the next steps.
For decades, theorists have speculated that in its very first moments, our universe underwent a mind-bogglingly fast expansion that took it from the diminutive size of a proton to a vast expanse. Earlier this year, scientists announced a stunning development: what may be the first “smoking gun” evidence in support of this theory.
How certain is this result and, if it’s corroborated, what does it mean for our theories of how the universe works? Three leading theorists spoke recently with The Kavli Foundation about the implications of these results on our understanding of the early universe.
“To have the signal come in basically as big as it could be—bigger even—was just amazing,” said theorist Michael S. Turner, Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) and the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. “We’re used to cosmology awing us, but this time it shocked us as well.”
Daniel Baumann, a lecturer in theoretical physics at Cambridge University whose research focuses on inflation and string theory, agreed: “My initial reaction was also shock and awe. I was intellectually prepared for these experiments, …but somehow in my gut I wasn’t prepared to have a signal that was as big as it actually was.”
“My concern at the moment is that it’s not yet clear whether or not they got it right,” said Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University. “They’ve definitely seen something. But deciding whether it’s due to gravitational waves produced in the early universe or due to some source in the foreground that’s between us and where the microwave background was emitted, that’s a key issue.”
More than half a dozen experiments around the world are now seeking to confirm BICEP2’s result in other frequencies and in other regions of the sky. The participants agreed that if these experiments find a similar signal and its shape matches what’s expected, that will be solid proof of cosmic inflation. In addition, the opportunity would exist to see subtle surprises in the signal that could lead to the discovery of new physics.
The complete discussion is available on The Kavli Foundation website: http://www.kavlifoundation.org/science-spotlights/theory-cosmic-inflation-bicep2
James Cohen | newswise
When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences