CMB Part 1: The “Smoking Gun” of the Big Bang (Synopsis)

When you think about it, it wasn’t all that long ago — just 50 years — that we didn’t know where our Universe came from. A hot, dense early state? A cyclical, swirling past? Or perhaps a time-independent one, where the Universe back then was not so different from our own today? All that changed in 1964, quite by accident.

“Horn Antenna-in Holmdel, New Jersey” by NASA — Great Images in NASA Description. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
“Horn Antenna-in Holmdel, New Jersey” by NASA — Great Images in NASA Description. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

With the first detection of the Cosmic Microwave Background, and its identification as the leftover glow from the Big Bang, we entered a new era of cosmology, one that wasn’t primarily based in speculative, theoretical calculations, but one that could distinguish between possible Universes from careful, progressively improved measurements of our Universe.

Image credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team.
Image credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team.

Today, we’re on the precipice of taking the next step, and finding out what gravitational waves may have imprinted themselves from the earliest moments of our observable Universe. Come read this amazing contribution from Amanda Yoho, and find out where we stand!