Questions tagged [cosmological-inflation]

Cosmological inflation refers to an era of expansion that lasted for approximately $10^{-34}$ seconds, during which the universe expanded by a factor of approximately $10^{26}$ in every direction. This is different from ordinary space expansion and from the acceleration in expansion we experience now and questions tagged by inflation should pertain to this era and not be about the expansion of the universe in general.

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3answers
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Photons in expanding space: how is energy conserved? [duplicate]

If a photon (wave package) redshifts (stretches) travelling in our expanding universe, is its energy reduced? If so, where does that energy go?
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Is the Big Bang defined as before or after Inflation?

Is the Big Bang defined as before or after Inflation? Seems like a simple enough question to answer right? And if just yesterday I were to encounter this, I'd have given a definite answer. But I've ...
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Can the Big Rip really rip apart an atomic nucleus?

Some scenarios describing the fate of the matter vs dark energy tug of war on the universe involve the acceleration of the universe increasing to the point that it ends up ripping apart even atoms. ...
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Will the Big Rip tear black holes apart?

There seems to be an obvious contradiction between the predictions of the physics of black holes and the Big Rip, a predicted event about 16.7 Gyr in the future where local groups, galaxies, solar ...
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5answers
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What is the evidence for Inflation of the early universe?

The theory of Inflation explains the apparent consistency of the universe by proposing that the early universe grew exponentially for a 1E-36 seconds. Isn't a simpler explanation that the universe is ...
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1answer
963 views

What is the meaning of the “expansion of space”?

When we say that "the space between galaxies is expanding," what do we really mean? For instance, if I think of space as being a Cartesian grid, then when space expands should I think of it as adding ...
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Size of universe after inflation?

Wikipedia states the period of inflation was from $10^{-36}$sec to around $10^{-33}$sec or $10^{-32}$sec after Big Bang, but it doesn't say what the size of the universe was when inflation ended. ...
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Observable (in principle) signal of a bubble collision in eternal inflation

Assuming a scenario of eternal inflation with a lot of "bubble universes" expanding, Lenny Susskind explains here that a potential signal of a collision of our universe with another bubble could be a ...
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How is it possible the universe expanded faster than the speed of light during inflation? [duplicate]

In a documentary written in collaboration with Stephen Hawking, the narrator (supposedly Stephen Hawkings) says that by the time the cosmos was 10 minutes old, it had already expanded thousands of ...
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Why does inflation (the inflaton field) push Omega down closer to zero (flatten the universe)?

I know that in our particular case the inflaton field expanded the volume of the universe while simultaneously maintaining a mass-energy density close to the critical density all the while, thus the ...
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How does Inflation solve the Magnetic Monopole problem?

Cosmological Inflation was proposed by Alan Guth to explain the flatness problem, the horizon problem and the magnetic monopole problem. I think I pretty much understand the first two, however I don't ...
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On Flatness problem, Inflation etc

I have a couple of naive questions from the topic of the title. We know \begin{eqnarray} \Omega-1=\frac{k}{a^2H^2}-\frac{\Lambda}{3H^2} \end{eqnarray} Now I read that from the standard big bang (SBB) ...
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How far has a 13.7 billion year old photon travelled

I've read that the size of the observable Universe is thought to be around ~46 billion light years, and that the light we see from the most distant galaxies were emitted ~13.7 billion years ago as a ...
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Is redshift the only way by which we can tell that space is expanding?

There's another question on physics.SE whose answer, if I have understood it correctly, explains that the farther the points are in space the faster they are moving away from each other. Actually, ...
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What was the major discovery on gravitational waves made March 17th, 2014, in the BICEP2 experiment?

The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics held a press conference today to announce a major discovery relating to gravitational waves. What was their announcement, and what are the implications? ...
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Inflation and the Meaning of Time

I'm not quite sure how to ask this so that it can be answered in layman's terms, but I have lately seen, in several places, that with cosmological inflation, there was a point where the universe ...
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Could quantum fluctuations spawn real matter?

Would it be plausible for fluctuations in the QED vacuum to spawn actual matter (such as quarks, electrons the constituents of a hydrgen atom) given enough time and space?
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FRW metric and its validity througout the age of the universe

Why do we think that the FRW metric should be valid throughout the entire history of the universe?
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de Sitter cosmological limit

It has been said that our universe is going to eventually become a de Sitter universe. Expansion will accelerate until their relative speed become higher than the speed of light. So i want to ...
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How likely are Primordial Black Holes to form in the early universe?

In the very early universe, tiny fluctuations created slight over- and under-densities in mass/energy. As far as I understand, if a region becomes sufficiently over-dense, a primordial black hole (PBH)...
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Is the Universe Past-Eternal?

Does the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem definitively demonstrate that the Universe cannot be past-eternal, whatsoever? Does it not assume a classical space-time while the real world requires Quantum ...
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Why does the homogeneity of the universe require inflation?

They say inflation must have occured because the universe is very homogeneous. Otherwise, how could one part of the universe reach the same temperature as another when the distance between the parts ...
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Additional merits to Wetterich's “Universe without expansion” compared to standard cosmological redshift interpretation?

A recent news item in Nature promotes Wetterich's preprint "A Universe without expansion". All sounds very exciting but hard to judge for non-experts. As I understand from the Nature's article, the ...
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Is inflation theory really dead?

I know the title is little bit challenging but maybe most of you heard about the last BICEP2 paper on February. As I have read about it here and here. My understanding is, BICEP2 results released on ...
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Difference between horizon and flatness problems & how inflation solves flatness (w/out math)

Layman here so I'm hoping for an answer for my query that doesn't involve math. I'm reading about inflation and how it solves the flatness and horizon problems. I get that the horizon problem deals ...
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Is the universe flat?

There are more than one way to view the description of the universe as flat. There is the description of an open, flat or closed universe in terms of it's fate, expansion forever away from gravity, or ...
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Particles, fluctuations and the quantum vacuum: is this right?

After answering a question on quantum fluctuations Could quantum fluctuations spawn real matter?, I got into conversation with E. D. Kramer (to whom thanks) and in the end it may be that we had a ...
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How do we know that space expanded with speed faster that a speed of light during big-bang inflation?

How do we know that space expanded faster than a speed of light in inflation? I have read this Phys.SE question, and it says that limit for faster than a speed of light is for matter and waves only. I ...
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1answer
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What caused the expansion of the universe to slow down after the inflationary epoch?

As everyone knows, when the big bang happened, the universe expanded at an unbelievable rate and this was called the inflationary epoch (or more popularly cosmological inflation) which lasted for ...
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What experiments compete with BICEP 2, and when are their results expected?

The recent results of the BICEP 2 experiment published on March 17th 2014, has generated a lot of media attention, with the general consensus being that "this is a major discovery" perhaps leading to ...
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How fast was the universe expanding during the inflationary period?

Compared to how fast it is expanding in the post-inflationary period (now)
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Size of Universe after inflation

I read in some website that during the period of inflation, the expansion of the universe underwent incredibly fast, and its size increased by a factor of $10 ^{50}$, see this link In this field, I ...
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1answer
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Inflation factor and doubling time

I get the general idea about cosmic inflation, but the numbers associated with it seem to be pulled out at random. For example, in The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene says that the universe doubled ...
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What current alternatives are there to the standard concordance model of cosmology?

The current "standard model" or concordance model of cosmology is Lambda CDM which includes late time acceleration due to a cosmological constant, cold dark matter as the missing matter component and ...
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1answer
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The status of the BICEP2 'discovery' after Planck 2014

The tumultous period after the original announcement that the BICEP2 experiment had supposedly detected strong evidence of cosmological inflation in the form of B-mode polarization in the cosmic ...
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1answer
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Would quantum fluctuations cause problems for scalar-field inflation?

Wheeler once said that spacetime would be highly curved at very small scales because of the uncertainty principle for energy-momentum. In which case the spacetime becomes very bumpy and not smooth ...
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627 views

Question on inflation

I have two particular questions regarding the inflationary scenario. They are: 1.) What is the physical origin of the inflaton field? 2.) Why has the potential of the inflation field its particular ...
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How do quantum fluctuations lead to overdense regions in the CMB?

I've read a lot of work about Inflation but yet to find a cogent description where someone explains exactly what 'quantum fluctuations' are and how they led to overdense regions in the CMB. I get the ...
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1answer
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Understanding the energy density of the the false vacuum

This note by Alan Guth says that The false vacuum, however, cannot rapidly lower its energy density, so the energy density remains constant and the total energy increases. Since energy is conserved,...
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If all the Structure in our visible Universe originated from Quantum Fluctuations, why isn't there as much Anti-Matter as Matter?

According to inflation, all the structure that we see like galaxies, etc. originated from quantum fluctuations which were expanded during inflation. But since quantum fluctuations always create ...
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Did the initiation of the Higgs Field and the inflationary period occur simultaneously?

My question is: Both of these concepts involve a phase transition and they both started, as far as I know, early in time, so are the above two ideas linked in any way? My first source for this query ...
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0answers
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Is there any primordial gravitational wave(form) that could explain dark energy?

First, I asked myself the question: Is there any gravitational waveform, however fantastical, that could explain dark energy. I suppose for a ubiquitous gravitational wave to be an explanation for ...
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1answer
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the nature of the big bang

If space-time expanded together with matter then why do physicist bother extrapolating backwards the expansion back to a point in time? I mean does that really tell us anything? I mean if the speed of ...
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Why is slow-roll is prefered over non-slow-roll inflation?

Wikipedia says that in new inflation, the slow-roll conditions must be satisfied for inflation to occur. What is fast-roll or non-slow-roll inflation and why is slow-roll is prefered?
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How can contracting dimensions lead to cosmological inflation?

Using the Kasner metric, given by $$ ds^2 = -dt^2 + \sum_{j=1}^D t^{2p_j}(dx^j) $$ it is possible to not only describe the cosmological expansion of some space directions (the ones with positive ...
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Attractive gravity has negative energy, what about repulsive gravity in the inflation phase?

Alan Guth's cosmic inflation theory posits that about 10^-38 second before the Big Bang which led to our particular universe, a tiny patch of space doubled in size more than 100 times, from sub-atomic ...
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2answers
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When did matter/energy come into existence? Before or after the CMB?

First of all thank you to anyone who replies this question, I am not a physics major, but foolishly chose to take a physics for non-science majors at my local university I am going to. I am trying ...
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1answer
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Can we use pressure analogy to understand inflation?

Classically, the expansion of a gas in a container requires the gas to apply outward pressure to the walls of the container. Is it also true for the Universe during inflation? How did the inflation ...
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1answer
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Why is Hawking's No Boundary condition described in terms of an instanton if there's no tunneling?

Regarding his take about combining No Boundary proposal with inflation theory (Hawking and Turok), he talks about the "pea instanton". To my very limited understanding I thought instantons were only ...
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Can decompactification explain the inflation of the early universe?

I've just reread chapter 11 of this book where it is explained among other things, that our four dimensional universe could be unstable concerning a decompactification transition, since potential ...