Space Ripples and the Big Bang’s Smoking Gun
Andrea Prestwich and Edwin Taylor, 12:30-2pm, Library
We often see the Big Bang pictured as —well – a big bang: an explosion expanding into space. But both space and time were CREATED in the cosmic Big Bang; the new Universe WAS spacetime, described by Albert Einstein’s theory almost 100 years ago. Thirty-five years ago Alan Guth, currently at MIT, realized that some central features of our present Universe could be explained by an insanely rapid expansion, starting from an initial speck billions of times smaller than a nuclear proton. He called this process “inflation.” Since then, Guth and others have corrected and extended his inflation theory. Last Monday the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced that, using a dish located within walking distance of the South Pole, a group has found a microwave “signature” that validates cosmic inflation. IF this is ratified by further observations, THEN it is a major cosmological discovery of our time.
From 12:30 noon to 2 PM this Sunday in the Library, Edwin Taylor and Andrea Prestwich will describe what they understand about this new development. Refreshments served.