When people think of space they think of beautiful ethereal gases swirling around, of stars that wink in the night, of the continuous black abyss. Space is accepted by every human being consciously but few return to look up and wonder what secrets it may hold, what we have already discovered and continue to explore. Cosmic inflation is part of the theory of relativity made by Albert Einstein in 1917. I’d like to say that recently new light was shed upon this concept – but since super rapid expansion is faster than the speed of light.. I won’t. It wasn’t until over 80 years later that physicist Alan Guth continued to study cosmic inflation making theories of his own, theories that have now been proven. The theory of ‘inflation’ you’ll be glad to hear is very simple, it involves an exponential growth spurt in its first trillionth, of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. That’s a massive growth in an embarrassingly small amount of time. What I like to call the Benjamin Button effect, because he’s a weird little baby, growing backwards though time, and it hasn’t stopped expanding since (since being 14 billion years).
This inflation is associated with waves of gravitational energy that leave ripples in the very fabric of space. So much so that it has left a mark on the oldest kind of light in space, the Cosmic Microwave Background. Fancy. The CMB as they call it was created at the time of the Big Bang and the gravitational waves are a type of energy that were created during the party, spreading out across the universe when it all kicked off. It is thought that this light created the seeds that grew into all the stars and galaxies that now exist.
This new discovery can now tie three of the four fundamental forces of nature together, like completing the outside barrier of a massive puzzle, and we all know how that feels. This means that scientists alike have made a massive step towards making a theory of everything. Take a moment to imagine that: today’s lesson is ‘the theory of everything’. It is these discoveries that can make only dreams of the imagination possible, often scientific benchmarks are not recognized for years or sometimes even decades.
Therefore it is so crucial that they are not lost in the media and are spread across the news so that children can grow wide eyed at the prospect of infinity, of traveling into the unknown one day, of building technology the world has not seen yet, and creating their own ideas of how these discoveries can be used to better mankind. Einstein inspired one man eight generations later to make a theory that will now change the course of science forever. The power of his inspiration is now written in the stars.