A major proof of the cosmic inflation, a major component of the Big Bang Theory (the actual theory, not the sitcom), was discovered last week. I’m not a cosmologist or physicist. I’m not even that good at math. Luckily for me, there’s a webcomic that puts this discovery in laypeople’s terms. It’s here at PHD Comics.
PHD Comics is usually a funny strip about the travails of life as a grad student, but every so often the cartoonist, Jorge Cham, does an explainer like this. I recommend both the funny strips and the explainers; they’re very entertaining.
Here’s the discovery explained another way, as a YouTube video:
Stanford Professor Andrei Linde came up with this idea, and this next video shows Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo going to Linde’s home to tell him his team has proved Linde’s theory to a certainty of “five sigma” (which I take to mean five standard deviations, i.e. very very certain). His life’s work has been vindicated. The door was answered by Linde’s wife, Renata Kallosh, also a physicist:
All that’s missing from that charming scene is an oversized novelty check being handed to the couple.
Of course, sometimes the evidence, no matter how good, will never be good enough for some people.