1. This is the moment physicist Andrei Linde was told of the discovery of gravitational waves - the long-missing proof of a theory he helped develop more than thirty years ago.
2. Linde is one of the fathers of the “inflationary universe” theory - a key part of modern physics.
Linde’s wife, Renata Kallosh - a theoretical physicist who made major contributions to the understanding of how inflation ties in with string theory - was also there to hear the news.
3. Despite its importance, until yesterday’s gravitational waves announcement, we’d only had indirect evidence to support Linde’s work - there was no direct proof.
The news was delivered by fellow Stanford physicist Chao-Lin Kuo, who worked on the BICEP2 experiment at the South Pole that deected the gravitational waves. If the results are confirmed, they’ll represent one of the most significant breakthroughs in cosmology in a long time.
4. Kallosh initially thought that the knock on the door was a delivery - and asked if Linde had ordered anything. “I ordered it thirty years ago, finally it arrived…” he joked afterwards.
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