July 30, 2015


Analysis

A big deal for the Big Bang

The sun sets behind the BICEP2 telescope, foreground, and the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica. In the faint glowing remains of the Big Bang, scientists found

STEFFEN RICHTER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES

The sun sets behind the BICEP2 telescope, foreground, and the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica. In the faint glowing remains of the Big Bang, scientists found "smoking gun" evidence that the universe began with a split-second of astonishingly rapid growth from a seed far smaller than an atom. To find a pattern of polarization in the faint light left over from the Big Bang, astronomers scanned about 2 percent of the sky for three years with the BICEP2 at the South Pole, chosen for its very dry air to aid in the observations, said the leader of the collaboration, John Kovac of Harvard.

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