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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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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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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Before inflation, what sets the initial value of the inflaton field?

[This is a version of the question that I've revised based on helpful comments from Dan.] I haven't studied inflation at a technical level. My picture of the process is that we have an inflaton field ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 is causal patch complementarity compatible with behavior during inflation?

Causal patch complementarity is the conjecture that in de Sitter space with a positive cosmological constant, the states within the causal patch are sufficient to fully describe the universe with the ...
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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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What's the $\ell$ in the Bicep2 paper mean?

The BICEP experiment's recent announcement included the preprint of their paper, BICEP2 I: Detection of $B$-mode polarization at degree angular scales. BICEP2 Collaboration. To be submitted. BICEP-...
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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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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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How is the horizon problem really a problem?

I always thought the uniformity in the temperature of the CMB was supposed to be expected, since it's a much more probable initial condition for the universe. I finally found someone explaining what I ...
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Equation of motion for cyclic model of the universe

I recently started to study about cyclic universe. I came across this article [1]. My question is about the action that used for describing the cyclic model: $$S = \int d^{4}x\sqrt{-g}(\frac{1}{16\pi ...
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Quantum Entanglement Versus Inflation in the Early Universe?

Quantum entanglement is one of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena in nature. It needs no interactions, or any sort of exchange for it to take place. It is possible, not against any rules of ...
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Time diffeomorphisms breaking in inflation

I am currently working on the topic of inflation. It seems that at the stage of inflation, the universe can be described as a de Sitter space. In such a space, all spacetime diffeomorphisms are ...
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What is meant by the term “value” of a scalar quantum field?

During the slow roll of a scalar field, the scalar field is changing its value over time. But what is meant by the term "value" of a scalar field? Since the scalar field is quantized, I don't ...
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How does universal inflation fit with the Planck length?

If the universe is undergoing inflation, and there is a minimum scale that things can exist at (the Planck length), does that mean that new Planck-sized domains have to be continuously popping into ...
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Conformal Gravity

Lubos, in his comment to a question, says that (https://physics.stackexchange.com/q/61281) First of all, one can't gauge a symmetry without modifying (enriching) the field contents. Gauging a ...
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BICEP2 and e-foldings during inflation

After the BICEP2 results, we now know that $n_s = 0.96$ and $r = 0.2$. From what I understand, this fits extremely well with the basic chaotic inflation model given by $V(\Phi) = \lambda \Phi^4$. We ...
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Hybrid Inflation and Supergravity

Is it necessary to add a constant term in the superpotential of hybrid inflation within supergravity in order to cancel SUSY vacuum energy at the end of inflation?
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What is chaotic about Chaotic Inflation?

Chaos is defined as an aperiodic long-termed behavior, that is very sensitive to initial conditions. Now from this definition I can only conclude that the adjective 'chaos' is a mere analogy, since ...
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The BICEP2 data are evidence of gravitational waves and of inflation. Are they also the first observation that requires quantum gravity?

It strikes me that the recent announcement of data from BICEP2 contains two really Big Deals: the first evidence of gravitational waves the first evidence of inflation. Is there also a third? the ...
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Causal structure of the inflationary multiverse

In the multiverse as it is described by eternal inflation, it is not clear to me what is its causal structure and in particular if the bubble-universes are causally connected. We start from a de-...
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Inflation Scale via CMB Polarization

COBE, WMAP, and now PLANCK, have or are in the process of measuring anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. WMAP has dectected E-mode polarization from electron Thomson scattering, but not B-...
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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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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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Is eternal inflation and the multiverse compatible with causal patch complementarity?

The argument for eternal inflation is we have some patch of metastable vacuum with positive cosmological constant, and so it expands exponentially a la de Sitter. Most of the patch decays to something ...
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Scalar field cosmology model: what should be some “realistic” values?

I'm considering a "classical" model of scalar field cosmology: A simple real scalar field minimally coupled to gravity, with a quartic Higgs-like field potential: \begin{equation}\tag{1} \mathcal{V}(\...
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In the B mode power spectrum, what is the relationship between the multipole number and the wavelength of the seed gravitational waves?

One of the key datasets of the recent BICEP2 results is the B mode power spectrum shown below. The existence of these B modes implies the existence of gravitational waves prior to inflation. My ...
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How do inflationary models predict the generation of gravitational waves during the inflationary period?

Recent results from the BICEP2 experiment have produced a lot of talk about the primordial gravitational waves produced during the inflationary period. I would like to have some explanation about how ...
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How can dynamics be reversible if inflation-style baby universe spawning is allowed?

I just finished readying Sean Carroll's book, "From Eternity to Here", and have a question about reversibility and inflation: Assume inflation allows random quantum fluctuations to produce high ...
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Damhsa Theory: Can gravitational waves really affect the long term climatic evolution of Earth?

As a glaciologist I'm often involved in topics related to the long-term climatic evolution of Earth, and to the factors that can trigger or end ice ages. Recently, I came across the paper "Applying ...
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What is the aim of modified GR theories?

Having finished an introductory course in GR, I started reading a bit about the modified general relativity theories, especially f(R) GR and scalar-tensor theories. However, I am unable to ...
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Does the Cosmic Microwave Background obey $\sigma T^4$?

The fact that the CMB has a temperature of 2.7 degrees Kelvin is well publicized, but I have a harder time finding a measure of the wattage per unit area. The Wikipedia article on the CMB is totally ...
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Would a charge imbalance act like dark energy?

I realize that there are theoretical reasons to reject the idea that the charges on electrons and protons may not be exactly equal and opposite; and I am not suggesting that they're not. Edited 12/20/...
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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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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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What actually is the flatness problem?

One of the Friedman equations is given by $$ H^2\equiv\Big(\frac{\dot{a}}{a}\Big)^2=\frac{8\pi G}{3}\rho-\frac{k}{a^2},\tag{1} $$ which fixes the evolution of $a$ (with given $\rho(t)$) if values for $...
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Thermal equilibrium of universe

I am just an interested layman in the field of cosmology. In the usual account of the development of the universe, it is stated that about 380.000 years after the big bang the electromagnetic ...
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Does expanding space cost energy?

Does the cosmic inflation reduce the energy density (inversely) proportional to the volume, or does the inflation "cost" energy? Is space itself "something" created at the expense of energy?
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What does it mean to have infinite negative conformal time?

In the context of Inflationary Cosmology, it is postulated that there was a period of shrinking Hubble Sphere radius $(aH)^{-1}$. $$ \frac{d}{dt} (aH)^{-1} < 0 $$ Then the regions of the ...
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Why the red-shift of distant galaxies is considered to be the effect of expanding spacetime?

Why it's not explained just by Doppler redshift caused by faster movement of those galaxies billions of years ago when that light was emitted? Would the speeds of the galaxies necessary for Doppler ...
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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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Could the same symmetry be finetuning both the Higgs mass and the inflaton's interactions?

The observed Higgs boson mass is at an interesting place in parameter space, placing the standard model electroweak vacuum right at the edge of metastability. Among the proposed explanations of this ...