Big Bang's Smoking Gun

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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

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  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
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Employees don't quit their job, they quit their boss

According to TwoFold CEO Alison McMahon, a leader who doesn't care (or can't pretend to care) about his or her employees isn't much of a leader at all.

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Technology & Innovation

Why do people quit their jobs? Surely, there are a ton of factors: money, hours, location, lack of interest, etc. For Alison McMahon, an HR specialist and the CEO of TwoFold, the biggest reason employees jump ship is that they're tired of working for lousy bosses.

By and large, she says, people are willing to put up with certain negatives as long as they enjoy who they're working for. When that's just not the case, there's no reason to stick around:

Nine times out of ten, when an employee says they're leaving for more money, it's simply not true. It's just too uncomfortable to tell the truth.

Whether that's true is certainly debatable, though it's not a stretch to say that an inconsiderate and/or incompetent boss isn't much of a leader. If you run an organization or company, your values and actions need to guide and inspire your team. When you fail to do that, you set the table for poor productivity and turnover.

McMahon offers a few suggestions for those who want to hone their leadership abilities, though it seems that these things are more innate qualities than acquired skills. For example, actually caring about your workers or not depending wholly on HR thinking they can do your job for you.

It's the nature of promotions that, inevitably, a good employee without leadership skills will get thrust into a supervisory position. McMahon says this is a chronic problem that many organizations need to avoid, or at least make the time to properly evaluate and assist with the transition.

But since they often don't, they end up with uninspired workers. And uninspired workers who don't have a reason to stay won't stick around for long.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

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I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

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