What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Big Bang's Smoking Gun

March 17, 2014, 3:22 PM
Bt_nasa_pic_of_day_3-13_final

What researchers are calling "cosmology's missing link" has been detected, providing a "smoking gun" for the Big Bang Theory.

Discovery reports:

For the first time, scientists have found direct evidence of the expansion of the universe, a previously theoretical event that took place a fraction of a second after the Big Bang explosion nearly 14 billion years ago.

We all know that the universe is big. Really big. But just how large is it?

The clue is encoded in the primordial cosmic microwave background radiation that continues to spread through space to this day.

Scientists found and measured a key polarization, or orientation, of the microwaves caused by gravitational waves, which are miniature ripples in the fabric of space.

Gravitational waves, proposed by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity nearly 100 years ago but never before proven, are believed to have originated in the Big Bang explosion and then been amplified by the universe’s inflation.

This major milestone was uncovered by a team of scientists led by John M. Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, including physicists from John Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota. Using a special telescope in the South Pole, they were able to detect gravitational waves in the universe’s fossil radiation and identified polarization signals as far stronger than anticipated, according to Discovery. In a press conference, the research was compared to finding a crowbar in a haystack.

“This is not something that’s just a home run, but a grand slam. It’s the smoking gun for inflation. It hints at unification of the fundamental forces at energies 10 trillions of times higher than those accessible at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN,” physicist Marc Kamionkowski told reporters .

This is one of the most exciting scientific discoveries since the Big Bang Theory itself. We look forward to bringing you discussions from our experts on what this means and new insights. To understand what put the "bang" in the Big Bang, watch this interview with Big Think expert Michio Kaku.

 

Big Bang's Smoking Gun

Newsletter: Share: