The BICEP2 Results: Cosmological Inflation and Primordial Gravitational Waves

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Dr David Parkinson, The University of Queensland

This week, the science team for the BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment announced the detection of B-mode polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background. These results demonstrate the presence of primordial gravitational waves generated in the very early universe. This has  important consequences for the theory of Cosmological Inflation, the idea that the early universe underwent a period of massive accelerated expansion. Inflation predicts the existence of such gravitational waves, and solves certain other problems with the standard model of the Big Bang. This talk will present the results from BICEP, and discuss the consequences for Inflation and other theories of the creation of the Universe.