We already know the universe is inflating, right? Well, we think we know. The truth is, inflation was a story cooked up to explain the bizarre fact that everything in the universe seems to be rushing away from us, and faster the further away it is, and it’s all insanely uniform, in every direction. Inflation is the best explanation for that, but . . . what if it’s just some sort of wild optical illusion? There was no direct evidence.
Today, scientists with the BICEP2 project in Antarctica announced their detection of gravity waves in the cosmic microwave background. Gravity waves have been found before, but these date back to the very earliest days of the Universe and were created by the insanely rapid inflation in the earliest times. So now we know. It’s definitely real.