Big Bang 'Cosmic Inflation' Theory Proven Correct -- And The Physicist Who Predicted This Result Can't Believe It
By: Erin Ruberry
By now you know that huge news was confirmed Monday: the "smoking gun" of the Big Bang was detected by scientists using a special telescope at the South Pole.
As our friends at Discovery News put it:
"For the first time, scientists have found direct evidence of the expansion of the universe, a previously theoretical event that took place a fraction of a second after the Big Bang explosion nearly 14 billion years ago."
Scientists, researchers, journalists and pundits will be debating the discovery and its implications for decades but the best reaction must be that of Andrei Linde, the Stanford University physicist and professor who first predicted these results back in the early 1980s.
His reaction, captured on camera, is priceless:
Joking that he wasn't expecting any visitors and thought the knock on the door was a delivery man, Linde laughed, "'It's probably some kind of delivery -- did you order anything?' Yeah, I ordered 30 years ago... finally it arrived!"
The Atlantic spoke with Stanford University science information officer Bjorn Carey, who came up with the idea of breaking the news to Linde on camera -- a "Publishers Clearing House-style approach to scientific discovery."
"I think people always think of physicists and scientists in general as people list sitting behind a calculator or computer or whatever, crunching numbers," Carey said of the gone-viral video. "But they're so much more than that. And I think this video does a pretty good job of showing that other side of them. But it's not normal. I don't know how to top this."
After news of the incredible discovery broke, Science Channel dived into its archives to compile expert videos on the Big Bang and its aftermath.
Here's a clip from Carl Sagan's original Cosmos series:
Tell us: What was your first reaction when you heard about the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation?