Cosmic Inflation

In physical cosmology, cosmic inflation, cosmological inflation or just inflation is the theorized extremely rapid exponential expansion of the early universe by a factor of at least 1078 in volume, driven by a negative-pressure vacuum energy density. The inflationary epoch comprises the first part of the electroweak epoch following the grand unification epoch. It lasted from 10−36 seconds after the Big Bang to sometime between 10−33 and 10−32 seconds. Following the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but at a slower rate.

The term "inflation" is also used to refer to the hypothesis that inflation occurred, to the theory of inflation, or to the inflationary epoch. The inflationary hypothesis was originally proposed in 1980 by American physicist Alan Guth, who named it "inflation". It was also proposed by Katsuhiko Sato in 1981.

As a direct consequence of this expansion, all of the observable universe originated in a small causally connected region. Inflation answers the classic conundrum of the Big Bang cosmology: why does the universe appear flat, homogeneous, and isotropic in accordance with the cosmological principle when one would expect, on the basis of the physics of the Big Bang, a highly curved, heterogeneous universe? Inflation also explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Quantum fluctuations in the microscopic inflationary region, magnified to cosmic size, become the seeds for the growth of structure in the universe (see galaxy formation and evolution and structure formation).

While the detailed particle physics mechanism responsible for inflation is not known, the basic picture makes a number of predictions that have been confirmed by observation. Inflation is thus now considered part of the standard hot Big Bang cosmology. The hypothetical particle or field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton.

Read more about Cosmic Inflation:  Overview, Motivations, Observational Status, Theoretical Status, Alternatives To Inflation, Criticisms

Other articles related to "cosmic inflation, inflation, cosmic":

Cosmic Inflation - Criticisms
... there are, as yet, good grounds for admitting any of the models of inflation into the standard core of cosmology” ... WMAP mission in 2006 made the empirical case for cosmic inflation very compelling ... work, and as pointed out by Roger Penrose from 1986 on, inflation requires extremely specific initial conditions of its own, so that the problem (or pseudoproblem) of initial conditions is ...
Kosmologie - Areas of Study - Very Early Universe
... These problems are resolved by a brief period of cosmic inflation, which drives the Universe to flatness, smooths out anisotropies and inhomogeneities to the observed level, and exponentially dilutes the monopoles ... The physical model behind cosmic inflation is extremely simple, but it has not yet been confirmed by particle physics, and there are difficult problems reconciling ... and brane cosmology will provide an alternative to inflation ...
Anthropic Principle - Applications of The Principle - Cosmic Inflation
... Don Page criticized the entire theory of cosmic inflation as follows ... of space from which our observable Universe grew had to be extremely orderly, to allow the post-inflation universe to have an arrow of time, makes it unnecessary to ...
Alan Guth
... Guth first developed the idea of cosmic inflation in 1979 at Cornell and gave his first seminar on the subject in January 1980 ... Moving on to Stanford University Guth formally proposed the idea of cosmic inflation in 1981, the idea that the nascent universe passed through a phase of exponential expansion that was driven ... The results of the WMAP mission in 2006 made the case for cosmic inflation very compelling ...
Dark Matter - Observational Evidence - Cosmic Microwave Background
... Main article Cosmic microwave background radiation See also Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe The discovery and confirmation of the cosmic microwave background (CMB ... constrained this theory, perhaps the most famous being the NASA Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) ... These measurements were able to rule out cosmic strings as the leading theory of cosmic structure formation, and suggested cosmic inflation was the right theory ...

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