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        NOVA Next | From Discovery to Dust

        Learn how a research team searched for evidence of cosmic inflation with this NOVA Next article. In the 1980s, researcher Andrei Linde described quantum fluctuations that could make cosmic inflation possible. Two decades later, scientists developed instruments to test Linde's theory. The BICEP1 detector collected data from 2006 to 2008. Researchers were looking for B-mode polarization, a signature pattern of primordial gravity waves. Researcher Chao-Lin Kuo developed the BICEP2 instrument, which captured the same data as BICEP1 in one-tenth of the time. The BICEP2 team did detect B-mode polarization; however, data from the Planck Observatory indicates that the B-mode signal may have been caused by dust. This resource is part of the NOVA Next Collection.

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