19 March 2014
Guardian: In 2001 two physicists, Stephen Hawking and Neil Turok, made a wager concerning the existence of primordial gravitational waves. Turok proposed a cyclic universe theory, wherein the Big Bang was just one of a series of big bangs with no cosmic inflation and, hence, no accompanying gravitational waves. Hawking, who has supported and expanded on the theory of inflation since the 1980s, disagreed with Turok’s theory. Monday’s announcement by the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has prompted Hawking to claim he’s won the bet. Turok, however, counters that the bet was based on the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, which as of last year has yet to confirm the existence of primordial gravitational waves.