Many physicists were toasting Monday’s announcement of the detection of primordial gravitational waves. Andrei Dmitriyevich Linde, currently at Stanford University, modified the cosmic inflation theory first proposed by Alan Guth in 1979 and the news was something he had “been hoping to see for 30 years.”
The evidence announced on Monday supports Linde’s theory of “chaotic inflation.” Guth’s theory of cosmic inflation was later refined by Linde and includes the concept of a “multiverse,” an infinite amount of possible universes. Linde said in a 2007 article published in the Stanford Alumni magazine, “Instead of a universe with a single law of physics, eternal chaotic inflation predicts a self-reproducing, eternally existing multiverse where all possibilities can be realized.”
The BICEP2 results confirm some of Linde’s predictions in his theory. Several of Linde’s predictions in his chaotic inflation theory have already been confirmed, including the precition that there should be some variations in the CMB and that the universe is flat.
A team of researchers, from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the University of Minnesota, the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University were part of the BICEP project that detected the primordial gravitational waves. The evidence also supports the theory of cosmic inflation, the exponential expansion of the universe immediately after the Big Bang.
Gravitational waves are considered “ripples in space-time” and can be created when two massive objects, such as two supermassive black holes orbiting each other, as well as during the Big Bang.
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The discovery of primordial gravitational waves gives researchers new insight into the birth of the universe. The researchers used the BICEP2 telescope to find the distinct gravitational waves signature, a twisting pattern known as “B-mode polarization,” in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the radiation that remained after the Big Bang.
BICEP2 project co-leader Chao-Lin Kuo went to Linde's home to announce the discovery of gravitational waves and you can watch the moment below.