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Physics in the News
Title: George Smoot: We Mapped The Embryonic Universe
Date: 04/19/2014
Publication: the guardian
Editor: Zoe Corbyn
Extended Text:

Front-page headlines and worldwide excitement greeted the announcement last month that a telescope at the south pole had appeared to detect the signature of gravitational waves, ripples in space-time first predicted by Albert Einstein, from the very earliest moments of the universe. The discovery, which provides the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation the long-held idea that in the fraction of a second after the big bang the universe underwent a massive growth spurt was made by studying the polarisation pattern of the radiation left over from the universe's early years, the so-called cosmic microwave background (CMB).

But it isn't the first time that analysing the CMB, which shows us what the universe looked like when it was only 380,000 years old, has yielded front-page attention and widespread predictions of a Nobel prize win. In 1992, cosmologist George Smoot and colleagues announced the startling news that they had found and mapped a pattern of tiny temperature fluctuations in the CMB using a Nasa satellite. READ MORE