Prof. Xingang Chen, UTD Physics
On March 17, researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration announced their scientific discovery as the first direct evidence for cosmic inflation, the exponential expansion of the universe in the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang. The announcement has generated much excitement and discussion among cosmology and astrophysics researchers, and the popular press has reported extensively on the findings.
What did the BICEP2 researchers find? Why is it so interesting? What does this result imply? And how reliable are the findings? In this colloquium, we introduce the history and the current status of the scientific quest into one of the most mysterious questions of our time: the origin of the Universe.