“A new $110 million observatory in the high desert of northern Chile, $90 million financed by the foundation, could uncover key clues about what happened after the Big Bang by looking at particles of light that have traveled across the universe since almost the beginning of time.

The data could finally provide compelling corroboration for a fantastical idea known as cosmic inflation. It holds that in the first sliver of time after the universe’s birth, the fabric of space-time accelerated outward to speeds far faster than the speed of light.

Alternatively, the observatory’s measurements could undercut this hypothesis, a pillar in the current understanding of cosmology.”

From New York Times.