Brainy Quote of the Day

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Golden Anniversary...

Atlas Experiment Blog

If you’re over 50, you probably remember the Big Bang—indeed, it would be hard to forget it. One moment you’re part of an infinitely tiny, infinitely dense point that contains the entirety of the universe, and the next moment you’re accelerating outward faster than the speed of light, expanding along with space-time itself. That’s a remember-when day if ever there was one.

You might argue that the Big Bang occurred a bit earlier than 50 years ago—13.8 billion years earlier, in fact—and most people might agree with you. What actually happened 50 years ago was that Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of Bell Labs made measurements of the cosmic background radiation that provided the first solid evidence of the Big Bang’s existence. Still, that didn’t stop Bell Labs itself from noting the event with a recent e-mail blast inviting recipients to “Celebrate the 50th Anniv. of the Big Bang.” In light of a just-released AP poll showing that a stunning 51% of Americans say they are “not at all confident” or “not too confident” that the Big Bang even occurred, the last thing we need is more confusion on the point. 1

It was 50 years ago May 20 that two scientists in the famous Bell Labs in New Jersey, while experimenting with an antenna, discovered the first evidence of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.

The discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation eventually brought Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson the Nobel Prize for Physics and gave more credence to Bell Labs as a premiere research institution in the United States. 2

1. Time: The Big Bang Did NOT Occur 50 Years Ago, Jeffrey Kluger
2. E Week: Bell Labs Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Big Bang Discovery, Jeffrey Burt

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