From Britain’s Guardian:
There is intense speculation among cosmologists that a US team is on the verge of confirming they have detected “primordial gravitational waves” – an echo of the big bang in which the universe came into existence 14bn years ago.
An announcement is expected tomorrow.
The discovery of gravitational waves from the big bang would offer scientists their first glimpse of how the universe was born.
Funny, the Big Bang didn’t used to be so popular.
The signal is rumoured to have been found by a specialised telescope called Bicep (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) at the south pole. It scans the sky at microwave frequencies, where it picks up the fossil energy from the big bang.
For decades, cosmologists have thought that the signature of primordial gravitational waves could be imprinted on this radiation. “It’s been called the Holy Grail of cosmology,” says Peiris, “It would be a real major, major, major discovery.”
Who knows, maybe we’ll find ourselves back with a cosmology based on fact, instead of what dope they smoke? Wouldn’t that be grand?
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).