Clearest view yet of the universe's troubled youth


By Stephen battersby (Image: NASA) DURING the first split second of existence, an extraordinary force stretched the universe from a cramped sub-microscopic speck into the forerunner of the spacious cosmos we now inhabit. Or at least that’s what cosmologists would have us believe. This theory, known as inflation, can explain a number of puzzling features about the cosmos, such as the fact that one side of the universe looks much the same as the other. Yet despite the enthusiasm, experimental backing for the idea has been thin on the ground. Last week, however,
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