News & AnalysisCosmology

First Wrinkles in Spacetime Confirm Cosmic Inflation

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Science  21 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6177, pp. 1296-1297
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6177.1296

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Cosmologists have spotted traces of gravitational waves—undulations in the fabric of space and time—rippling through the infant universe. If it holds up, the discovery fulfills a key prediction of a theory called inflation. According to this theory, in its first sliver of a second, the cosmos expanded like a gargantuan balloon at greater than light speed. It also shows for the first time that gravity must follow the same rules of quantum mechanics that other forces such as electromagnetism do.