Sunday, Apr 19, 2015Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

US scientists find echoes of Big Bang 14 billion years ago

Published on Mar 17, 2014 11:52 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In a major discovery for understanding the origins of the universe, US scientists said on Monday they have detected echoes of the Big Bang 14 billion years ago.

The "first direct evidence of cosmic inflation," or the rapid growth spurt that came in the first moments of the life of the universe, was found with the help of a telescope at the South Pole, and was announced by experts at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.

The detection of these gravitational waves represents the last untested element of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, filling in a major gap in our understanding of how the universe was born.

The waves are ripples that move through space and time, and have been described as the "first tremors of the Big Bang." Their detection confirms an integral connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!