LSC Congratulates BICEP2 Colleagues

18 March 2014 - The BICEP2 Collaboration result, if confirmed, is a landmark discovery in cosmology, allowing us for the first time to peer back almost to the moment of the Big Bang through the observation of the imprint of primordial gravitational waves on the cosmic microwave background. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration congratulates our BICEP colleagues on their accomplishment and will further follow discoveries and implications of these observations with great interest.

This result highlights the unique role that gravitational wave observations will play in understanding the universe in the coming years, demonstrating the possibility to study the earliest time in the evolution of the Universe, and the physics of the correspondingly high energies, using gravitational waves. Direct measurements of the cosmological gravitational waves at a variety of frequencies will be necessary to fully understand the physics of inflation. Furthermore, when Advanced LIGO gravitational-wave detector comes online in the second half of this decade, we anticipate it will directly measure gravitational waves created by the most violent compact astrophysical sources in the universe -- colliding neutron stars and black holes as well as supernovae -- opening an entirely new window onto the universe through gravitational-wave astronomy.

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BICEP2 Discovery

A plot of primordial gravitational waves from Universe inflation

Gravitational waves from inflation generate a distinctive pattern in the polarization of cosmic microwave background (CMB).
Image credit: The BICEP2 collaboration