Scientists Figured Out How to See the Beginning of Time

Princeton scientists believe they have the tools to peer back into the beginning of time itself. The researchers say they can use ripples in space-time, known as gravitational waves, to basically see the start of everything we know.

“We can’t see the early universe directly,” Deepen Garg, graduate student in the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics, says in a news release, “but maybe we can see it indirectly if we look at how gravitational waves from that time have affected matter and radiation that we can observe today.”

By using the same process for researching fusion energy, the scientists studied gravitational waves, which Albert Einstein first predicted in 1916 as a consequence of the theory of relativity. With the disturbances in space-time caused by the movement of dense object, new formulas “could theoretically lead gravitational waves to reveal hidden properties about celestial bodies, like stars that are many lightyears away.”

The hope is that physicists can analyze the characteristics of light to discover properties about a star millions of lightyears away, all while learning about a host of neutron stars, black holes, and star deaths along the way.

Why not shoot bigger and search for any little ripple that shows off a long-sought-after, Big Bang-type moment?

The scientists admit that they have formulas for looking into this concept, but “getting meaningful results will take more work,” they say. So our journey back to the beginning of time will have to wait just a bit longer to start.

Reference(s): Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics