It's a wonderful moment in any scientist's career when they are informed that their bedrock theory is proven (or, at least, when they are told of strong observational evidence that supports their theory). So when Stanford University's Chao-Lin Kuo, a collaborator with the South Pole BICEP2 experiment, made a recent house call, the moment was priceless.
ANALYSIS: Big Bang, Inflation, Gravitational Waves: What It Means
In this case, when Kuo met with Andrei Linde, Stanford professor and one of the key authors of the famous inflationary universe theory, a historic moment was captured on camera.
"So I have a surprise for you," Kuo said to a confused Linde and his wife Renata Kallosh, also a theoretical physics professor at Stanford, on their doorstep. "It's five sigma."
"Discovery?" an emotional Kallosh asked as she hugged Kuo.
"What?!" said an equally emotional and shocked Linde. Kuo then repeated the result that BICEP2 had made a 5σ discovery of gravitational waves that supports Linde's theory of inflation.