For the first time, scientists have found direct evidence of the expansion of the Universe, previously the former only theory, which occurred in a split second after the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago.
The key is encrypted in the original cosmic microwave background radiation, which continues to propagate through space to this day.
Scientists have discovered and measured the key polarization or orientation of microwaves caused by gravitational waves, which are miniature ripples on the fabric of space.
The gravitational waves proposed in the general theory of relativity by Albert Einstein 100 years ago and which have not yet been proven are believed to have arisen as a result of the Big Bang, and then were intensified by inflation of the Universe.
“The detection of this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology,” says lead researcher John Kovach, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Because gravitational waves squeeze space as they travel, they leave a definite imprint in the cosmic microwave background. Similar to light waves, gravity waves have “impartiality” when correlated with left and right distorted polarization. With the help of a special telescope located at the South Pole, scientists not only discovered gravitational waves in the relic radiation of the Universe, they also found that the polarization control signals are much stronger than expected.
“It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, but instead we found a crowbar,” says a team led by Clem Prike, from the University of Minnesota.
In addition to providing the first direct evidence of the inflation of the universe, these measurements can be used today to determine the amount of energy required for expansion.
Computer models show that the Universe has expanded 100 trillion trillion times over 0, 0000000000000000000000000000001 (10 to minus 34 degrees) seconds after the Big Bang about 13800000000 years ago.