Today, Harvard's servers were brought to their knees dealing with international demand to watch a press conference about ... gravitational waves. It's no surprise: as physicist Marc Kamionkowski reflected, "It's not everyday you wake up and learn something completely new about the early universe."
Once again, the infamous cosmological constant is rearing its head. A constant of integration, this mathematical relic has some serious implications for the end of the universe. We thought we had it nailed down from the last batch of observations, but maybe we were measuring the wrong thing.
Clean animation + accurate cosmology + English accent = win, even if they did gloss over the whole, mistook the cosmic microwave background radiation as birdshit so stationed a student by the telescope with a shotgun, part of the story "by accident."
By pulling the latest data from the ESA's Planck Mission project, a physics professor from the University of Washington has created an auditory representation of the Big Bang.
The cosmic microwave background radiation has provided scientists with some of the best data on the earliest days of the universe. Cosmologists may have worked out how to learn even more, involving a painstaking search for the universe's oldest helium.