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inflation

An interactive illustration of shapes hiding clocks.
cosmology

Cosmic Triangles Open a Window to the Origin of Time

October 29, 2019

A close look at fundamental symmetries has exposed hidden patterns in the universe. Physicists think that those same symmetries may also reveal time’s original secret.

An illustration of a planet in front of a star.
Abstractions blog

Physics Nobel Honors Early Universe and Exoplanet Discoveries

October 8, 2019

The astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won half of the prize for their 1995 discovery of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a nearby star. The cosmologist James Peebles won the other half for work exploring the structure of the universe.

cosmology

Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning

June 6, 2019

A recent challenge to Stephen Hawking’s biggest idea — about how the universe might have come from nothing — has cosmologists choosing sides.

Abstractions blog

A New Test for the Leading Big Bang Theory

September 11, 2018

Cosmologists have predicted the existence of an oscillating signal that could distinguish between cosmic inflation and alternative theories of the universe’s birth.

cosmology

Physicists Hunt for the Big Bang’s Triangles

April 19, 2016

The story of the universe’s birth — and evidence for string theory — could be found in triangles and myriad other shapes in the sky.

cosmology

Why the Big Bang’s Light May Have a Tilt

June 30, 2015

Scientists haven’t tested the Big Bang’s light for a revealing shift in 25 years. A new experiment aims to change that.

cosmology

Joint Dust Analysis Deflates Big Bang Signal

January 30, 2015

No definitive evidence for cosmic inflation is found, but support remains strong for the theory even as critics highlight its shortcomings as an explanation for how and why the universe began.

BICEP2 graphic.
cosmology

‘Big Bang Signal’ Could All Be Dust

September 21, 2014

Cosmic dust in the high latitudes of the Milky Way could account for the entire swirl pattern that had been presented as proof of a leading Big Bang theory, according to a new data analysis from the Planck satellite.

David Spergel
Q&A

A Bold Critic of the Big Bang’s ‘Smoking Gun’

July 3, 2014

The cosmologist David Spergel explains why a widely publicized gravitational-wave discovery could be wrong, and how the “overreaching” study could affect the public’s perception of science.