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Thread: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

  1. #41
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    Re: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Why isn't the red shift direct evidence of an expanding universe?
    It's a poorly worded sentence by the author. You're correct that redshift is the primary evidence of our universe's expansion.

    What the author should have said is that this is the first evidence of 'inflation' - a hypothesis that in the first moments after the big bang the universe expanded at an incredible rate, vastly higher than any expansion we've seen since. One of the predictions that falls out of the math if you assume this 'inflation' hypothesis is that there should be able to see today echoes of extremely powerful gravitational waves that occurred during inflation.

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Over and above that why exactly is this so important? What significant insight will be gained from this?
    Well, it's essentially confirmation of the inflation theory. It also sheds light on the nature of inflation and allows to narrow down some the competing theories on the details of inflation. It also serves as further confirmation of Einstein's relativity, as gravitational waves were one of the few remaining phenomenon predicted by his theory that had yet to be detected.

    But the real reason physicists are so excited about it is that it may shed light on solving what has been the biggest problem in physics since early in the 20th century - unifying quantum physics with relativity. The theories don't mesh well - quantum physics works well for small things, relativity works well for large objects, but physicists have so far been unable to reconcile the two. Inflation is largely a matter of quantum physics while gravitational waves are mostly a matter of relativity. The connection between these two in this experiment may provide insight in how to merge the two theories.

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    Re: Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    It's a poorly worded sentence by the author. You're correct that redshift is the primary evidence of our universe's expansion.

    What the author should have said is that this is the first evidence of 'inflation' - a hypothesis that in the first moments after the big bang the universe expanded at an incredible rate, vastly higher than any expansion we've seen since. One of the predictions that falls out of the math if you assume this 'inflation' hypothesis is that there should be able to see today echoes of extremely powerful gravitational waves that occurred during inflation.



    Well, it's essentially confirmation of the inflation theory. It also sheds light on the nature of inflation and allows to narrow down some the competing theories on the details of inflation. It also serves as further confirmation of Einstein's relativity, as gravitational waves were one of the few remaining phenomenon predicted by his theory that had yet to be detected.

    But the real reason physicists are so excited about it is that it may shed light on solving what has been the biggest problem in physics since early in the 20th century - unifying quantum physics with relativity. The theories don't mesh well - quantum physics works well for small things, relativity works well for large objects, but physicists have so far been unable to reconcile the two. Inflation is largely a matter of quantum physics while gravitational waves are mostly a matter of relativity. The connection between these two in this experiment may provide insight in how to merge the two theories.
    Thanks for clearing that up. Since I don't know much about it, could you please explain to me how quantum physics is used to explain inflation?

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