Reader Justin sent a link to this animated video by MinutePhysics that tries to explain what the BICEP project really revealed about the Big Bang (I say “tries” because I’m not a physicist). Do note, though, that Official Website Physicist™ Sean Carroll was an advisor on the science, so it must be right!.
One thing I took from this video (and again, readers in the know can explain it) was the statement that “this discovery marks the first confirmation that gravity is indeed a quantum mechanical phenomenon.” It was my impression that the unification of gravity and quantum mechanics was one of the great unsolve problems of physics, and I’m wondering if the BICEP results will help that project.
Note that two minutes in, the video tells you how to get a free audio book, and the selection includes one recommended by Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd.
As for the significance beyond physics, it’s explained in yesterday’s The Far Left Side cartoon by Mike Stanfill, a strip I must check more regularly. (Stanfill always adds some explanation below his cartoons.)