Email Print Share

Evidence for Inflationary Gravitational Waves from the BICEP2 experiment in Antarctica

In March 2014, NSF-funded researchers John Kovack and Clem Pryke discussed the evidence underlying their published contention that data gathered by the BICEP telescope at the South Pole confirms the inflationary theory of the origins of the universe.

Gravitational waves are a key but elusive prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity first postulated nearly 100 years ago. They are generated during Inflation according to ideas put forward by Stephen Hawking, Alan Guth, and others in the 1970s and 80s.

If these findings are confirmed, they will help us understand better how the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. This discovery made headlines around the world.

Credit: NSF

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Videos credited to the National Science Foundation, an agency of the U.S. Government, may be distributed freely. However, some materials within the videos may be copyrighted. If you would like to use portions of NSF-produced programs in another product, please contact the Video Team in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.