Every astronomy textbook tells us that soon after the Big Bang, there was a period of exponentially accelerating expansion called cosmic inflation. In a tiny fraction of a second, inflationary expansion multiplied the size of the universe by a larger factor than in the following 13 and a half billion years of regular expansion. This story seems like a bit of a … stretch. Is there really any mechanism that could cause something like this to happen? What what we’re covering today – the real physics of cosmic inflation.
Hosted by Matt O'Dowd Written by Matt O'Dowd Graphics by Leonardo Scholzer Directed by Andrew Kornhaber Produced By: Kornhaber Brown
Most cosmologists buy some variation of the inflation hypothesis. It seems to very neatly solve some of the biggest questions in cosmology. Those being: why is matter and energy so smoothly spread out across the entire observable universe? And why is the geometry of the universe so flat? Neither should be expected unless the universe expanded much more rapidly early on. We explored these problems in an earlier video – worth a look if you really want to get inflation. Another problem fixed by inflation is the absence of magnetic monopoles – strange particles predicted to have been produced in the early universe. We’ll come back to those another time.
Big Bang Supporters:
Anton Lifshits David Nicklas Fabrice Eap Juan Benet Justin Lloyd Morgan Hough
Mark Heising Mark Rosenthal Tambe Barsbay Vinnie Falco
Hypernova Supporters: Chuck Zegar Danton Spivey Donal Botkin Edmund Fokschaner Hank S John Hofmann John R. Slavik Jordan Young Joseph ..