Theoretical physicists and cosmologists deal with the biggest questions, like “Why are we here?” “When did the universe begin?” and “How?” Another questions that bugs them, and likely has bugged you, is “What happened before the Big Bang?”
Many wonderful theories that explain the evolution of the universe fail because they predict more dark matter than is actually out there. Now a new paper proposes one event in the early universe that would reduce the amount of dark matter in all the theories.
Swiss scientists may have found the answer to a troubling mystery about the early evolution of our universe. After the Big Bang, the universe cooled down for a billion years in a kind of cosmic dark age. But then it mysteriously reheated. Electrons and protons that had been happily joined in hydrogen atoms were ripped…
A machine shoots a blast of beads at a metal target. The result is a beautiful conical structure known as a “water bell.” It’s significant because one kind of substance (granular material) changes its behavior to act like another substance entirely—and the universe has seen this kind of change before.
The Big Bang that created the Universe left traces of itself everywhere—an afterglow known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). You’ve probably never thought to ask whether there’s a practical use for the CMB, but lo and behold, cosmologists found it: data encryption.
You’ve heard it before: In space, no one can hear you scream. That’s because sound doesn’t move through a vacuum, and everyone knows that space is a vacuum. The thing is, that’s not completely true.
A new assessment of the Cosmic Microwave Background shows that the oldest stars ignited 150 million years later than previously thought. It's a realization that's forcing cosmologists to rethink the 13.8 billion year history of the Universe.
There will be no Nobel prizes after all. Last March, scientists announced they had discovered our first direct evidence of the Big Bang, but that evidence has been slowly crumbling away. The results of a joint analysis released today make it official: It was all just cosmic dust.
A helium balloon fitted with six telescopes is currently floating over Antarctica. It's called SPIDER, and it could show what happened during the Big Bang. Scientists will use it to search for patterns of polarization that could have only been made in primordial light in the fractions of seconds after the birth of the…
Back in March, a group of physicists announced the first direct evidence of the Big Bang in a splashy press conference followed by Nobel prize forecasts and champagne. But scientists have since questioned the discovery, and a new paper suggests the signal detected was not evidence of the Big Bang but instead largely,…
Earlier this year — and in a discovery that screamed Nobel Prize — Harvard physicists announced that they'd found evidence of gravitational waves in the early universe, potential proof that our universe began with a bang. The claim was duly criticized, but a new analysis may be the most damning yet.
The Royal Observatory of Greenwich, England, has crafted three simple animations to explain three very complex things: What's inside a black hole, how do we know the age of the sun—did you know the Sun weighs 4,000 trillion trillion hippopotamuses?—and how big is the Universe.
If you're still a little confused about why everyone is talking about The Big Bang and gravitational waves and cosmic inflation and space and twists of light and so forth, it's okay. Much smarter people are taking care of answering those questions for humanity. But it's a big effing deal so us less wrinkled brain…
According to very real and totally verifiable scientific research, we might live in a multiverse. No, really. The same research that revealed the first-ever direct evidence of Big Bang inflation earlier this week also suggests the presence of alternate universes.
Astronomers have long sought tangible proof that the Big Bang caused the universe to violently and exponentially expand in the first few milliseconds of its existence. Now they have it, thanks in part to a radio telescope in Antarctica that recently detected primordial gravitational waves, the "smoking gun" evidence…
As you've probably heard, yesterday a team of scientists identified evidence of cosmic inflation right after the Big Bang, a finding which helps explain how the entire Universe originated. Amazing as that sounds, it's way more important than you even imagine.
Somebody's going to win a Nobel Prize. At least that's what the physics community is saying after the announcement on Monday that a Harvard team has found the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation right after the Big Bang. It's more proof that the Big Bang really was the beginning of it all.