Physicists on Monday revealed a major discovery in our understanding of how everything got started by spotting gravitational waves that can be traced back to the exponential expansion that occurred in the fractions of a second after the Big Bang.
These ripples in space-time back up a theory of cosmic inflation developed by physicists Alan Guth and Andrei Linde in the early 1980s. Linde is now a professor at Stanford and could not hide his excitement when he first learned of the discovery from his colleagues.
"These results are a smoking gun for inflation, because alternative theories do not predict such a signal," he said in a statement. "This is something I have been hoping to see for 30 years."
Stanford Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo took a cameraman and some champagne with him when he delivered the news to Linde at his home that one of his major life works had just been confirmed.
Give it a watch below. It's a nice reminder that there's a human side to scientific discoveries that can seem so inconceivably distant from our daily lives. Cheers, Professor Linde!