WATCH: Scientist behind Big Bang Theory Learns He Was Right on Camera

It took more than three decades, but the thesis that came out of Stanford professor Andrei Linde’s lifework has now been confirmed. A scientist who has been working with a team at the South Pole surprised Linde at his home with new evidence that confirmed the inflation theory, which states that the universe experienced rapid expansion a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Linde first proposed the theory in 1983.

“5-sigma, *r* is .2,” assistant professor Chao-Lin Kuo told a startled Linde and his wife. The two popped a bottle of champagne in celebration.

Via PolicyMic. For those wondering, here’s what the number Kuo shared means:

The ratio is used to evaluate the strength of different models of the early universe by comparing the contribution of gravitational waves with other effects. A ratio of zero would mean that no gravitational radiation exists, ruling Linde’s inflation theory out. As for the sigma value, a statistical threshold corresponding to around 5 is a common standard of accuracy required to announce scientific discoveries.

So a non-zero

r-value, with a sufficient sigma-value is elating news for Linde because it means that the data is accurate and supports his theoretical model for the early universe.