The signal is reported to be quite a bit stronger than many scientists had dared hope. This simplifies matters, say experts. It means the more exotic models for how inflation worked are no longer tenable.
The results also constrain the energies involved - at 10,000 trillion gigaelectronvolts. This is consistent with ideas for what is termed Grand Unified Theory, the realm where particle physicists believe three of the four fundamental forces in nature can be tied together.
But by associating gravitational waves with an epoch when quantum effects were so dominant, scientists are improving their prospects of one day pulling the fourth force - gravity itself - into a Theory of Everything.