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April 3, 2014

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The MIT Physics Department and MIT Lecture Series Committee present:

The BICEP2 Results and What They Mean: The First Observation of Gravitational Waves from the Early Universe

April 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm in 26-100

FREE Admission!

On March 17, 2014, the BICEP2 collaboration, using results from a telescope at the South Pole, announced the observation of swirls in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation that we believe were caused by gravitational waves in the early universe. These gravitational waves have been described as the smoking-gun evidence for cosmological inflation. According to the New York Times, if corroborated, this work "will stand as a landmark in science comparable to the recent discovery of dark energy pushing the universe apart, or of the Big Bang itself." The speakers at this event will discuss the results of BICEP2, and the background for understanding the results and their implications.

Speakers:
Alan Guth, originator of inflationary cosmology, Professor of Physics, MIT
Scott Hughes, Associate Professor of Physics, MIT
John Kovac, leader of the BICEP2 project, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Harvard University
Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, MIT
Moderated by Edward Farhi, Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Theoretical Physics, MIT