Cosmology: Whisper from a Bang

Is the universe limitless, with no beginning and no end in either time or space? Or did it begin with a "Big Bang," the sudden expansion of a monstrous mass of hot hydrogen that spread out to form galaxies still receding from one another? Scientific dispute ranges between those two extremes and swirls around compromises and variations. New evidence seems to support first one theory, then another. Last week it was the Big Bang that got a boost—all because of some faint radio waves filtering gently down from the sky.

Scientists Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson of Bell...

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