News From the Field
First direct evidence of cosmic inflation
March 17, 2014
Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the "first tremors of the big bang." Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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