The cosmic confusion of the microwave background

Roughly 380,000 years after the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago, matter (mostly hydrogen) cooled enough for neutral atoms to form, and light was able to traverse space freely. That light, the cosmic microwave background ...

Tracer galaxies probe the cosmic background

The universe, perhaps surprisingly, is not comprised of galaxies randomly distributed throughout space; that is, it is not very homogeneous. Instead, its galaxies are clustered into distinct structures, typically gigantic ...

What happened before the Big Bang?

A team of scientists has proposed a powerful new test for inflation, the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. Their goal is to give insight into ...

Cosmic inflation: Higgs says goodbye to his 'little brother'

In the first moments after the Big Bang, the universe expanded many billions of times faster than today. Such rapid expansion is likely due to a primordial force field acting with a new particle, the inflaton. From the latest ...

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