It's Five Sigma at Point Two

BICEP2 has detected evidence of gravitational waves, validating the theory of inflation.

Here’s Professor Andrei Linde and his wife, also a physics professor, being delivered the news:

The Guardian writes:

What next? Do cosmologists just pack up and go home?

No way. Now the work really begins. Einstein knew that general relativity did not mesh with another theory of physics called quantum mechanics. Whereas general relativity talks about gravity and the universe as a whole, quantum mechanics talks about the small scale of particles and the other forces of nature, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism. Despite almost a century of effort, the world’s physicists have not been able to show how these theories work together. The primordial gravitational waves were generated when gravity and the universe were working on the same scale as particles and the other forces of nature. This detection and the subsequent analysis will hopefully tell us how. If it does, this could lead to what physics wistfully call “the theory of everything”.

There’s probably a very long way yet to the theory of everything, but this is very exciting nonetheless.