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Hawking claims bet victory after gravitational wave discovery

March 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM
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CAMBRIDGE, England, March 18 (UPI) -- Professor Stephen Hawking of Britain's University of Cambridge is claiming victory in a bet following the discovery of gravitational waves in space.

Hawking said the discovery of the gravitational waves rippling through the universe, which were discovered by Harvard Smithsonian Center scientists working with NASA and U.S. National Science Foundation researchers using the BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole, supports his theory of the early universe's "inflation," the Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

Hawking said the discovery means he has won a bet with Professor Neil Turok, whose wager involved a theory of multiple Big Bangs in a cyclic universe.

"The cyclic universe theory predicts no gravitational waves from the early universe," Hawking said.

However, Turok said the bet was based on a different experiment and he finds the recent discovery to be "not entirely convincing."

"Verification is very important, and it's wise to be a little bit skeptical at the moment when there is no confirmation, and the experiment was extremely difficult, and they don't entirely explain why they are so convinced of what they claim," Turok said.

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