New evidence supports Big Bang concept
RIPPLES in ancient light form the first direct evidence of the Big Bang, the original expansion of the universe from a tiny compressed mass that gave birth to the present vastness of the cosmos, scientists said.
Waves from the initial expansion still exist in cosmic background microwaves, which are a form of light that remains from the universe's earliest days, a team from institutions including Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology reported.
Scientists have theorised for decades that the universe began with a flash of rapid expansion about 14 billion years ago, and measurements of light from distant stars show it is still expanding.
Using measurements from a telescope that can detect how gravitational waves affected the cosmic background microwaves, the researchers could see the signature of the Big Bang, said Dr John Kovac, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center.
"The experiment is incredibly impressive," said Dr Lawrence Krauss, a cosmologist at Arizona State University in Phoenix. It is observing "a signal from the very early universe, from the beginning of time".
"In some sense, it is answering the question of why there is something rather than nothing."