We'll cut right to the chase: This video of Stanford Professor Andrei Linde finding out about yesterday's big discovery of "smoking gun" evidence of cosmic inflation (the "first tremors of the big bang") is the best thing. That's because Linde, a physicist, is responsible for the theoretical work on cosmic inflation that was finally confirmed by this week's big space news.
Knowing he would pleased to learn that his hard work had finally paid off, So Chao-Lin Kuo, an assistant professor at Stanford who worked on the team that uncovered the first direct evidence supporting the theory, went to Linde's house with a cameraman and surprised him and his wife with the news:
Although Linde's wife understands the significance and hugs Kuo immediately, the senior physicist seems to not quite believe what he's hearing. "Can you repeat it again?" Linde says as his colleague tells him about the discovery. Later, the three pop champagne in celebration. Linde says that at first he thought the knock at the door was a delivery person. "Did you order anything?" Linde said, "Yeah, I ordered it years ago. Finally, it arrived."
The Atlantic has a bit more context on the video: according to Bjorn Carey, Stanford's science information officer, Professor Kuo surprised Linde at home in part to keep it secret from his other colleagues: Linde was planning on leaving town before the official public announcement, but this isn't exactly the sort of thing you let someone find out on the evening news. Linde and his wife went on vacation in the Caribbean less than a day after the video was filmed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.