By the end of 2030, we will be able to understand the environment in the first second of the cosmos through gravitational waves. This was stated by well-known physicists and gravitational expert, Kip S Thorne.
It is understood that the Universe is 13.7 billion years old. It is also now known that until 200 million years after Big Bang, conditions cooled down considerably for the first stars to make its appearance. The Universe is composed only 4% of real matter while dark matter composed of 23% while 73% is composed of dark energy.
Most astronomers believe that the instant after the big bang, the just universe was a dense and hot soup of matter, dark matter and dark energy. It went through an expansion phase at a speed much faster than the speed of light. This inflating phase ended before the universe was a millionth of second old. The marble sized universe expanded in the trillionth of a second into the visible universe of today.
To understand the environment during the immediate aftermath of the big bang scientist used a new kind of signal, called the “polarization signal” from the microwave background. It is very weak, much weaker than any signal analyzed till now. It is being used to test the Inflation phase in the aftermath of the big bang.
The observations also revealed that the inflation phase was not smooth and was also incredibly fast leading to some regions expanding faster than the others. This resulted in small clumps to be formed which later formed galaxies.
The coming years will see many new observatories which will be even more sensitive to detect different forms of signals which also includes gravitational waves. Gravitational waves can be termed as hiccups in the fabric of time and space, and require incredibly sensitive instruments to be detected and measured. LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) observatories in the US and the forthcoming LIGO India project will help mankind better understand the past history of his cosmos to the last microsecond, just after the Big Bang.