Alan Guth: The Father of Inflationary Cosmology

Born today was Alan Guth.

Atomic physicist, forsooth.

And a prominent Big Bang sleuth.

Too abstruse for me, in truth.

"More recently, Guth has expressed his belief that our universe is just one of many universes that came into existence among countless others as part of a multiverse. According to this theory, cosmic inflation never ends, but continues expanding at an exponential rate, with additional universes being created all the time as "bubbles" within the inflation process (in some ways similar to Fred Hoyle’s discredited steady-state theory). He believes that the entire cosmos was created by quantum fluctuations from nothingness (which he argues is perfectly consistent with the Law of Conservation of Energy because its total energy value remains zero), and is quoted as saying that “the universe is the ultimate free lunch”.[]



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  • Based on the headline and the last line of the excerpt, I'm surprised that the Tea Party is not already out there protesting.

  • In reply to jack:


  • In reply to jack:

    Good one Jack, but what about all this talk of the cosmos being built out nothing by quantum fluctuations, surely 'they didn't build that'?

  • In reply to 4zen:

    No, it was created in 6 days.

  • In reply to jack:

    Hmm, on the contrary, Prof. Guth has three things in common with Biblical literalists:

    1) He believes in creation ex-nihilo.

    2) He has no empirical evidence for his belief.

    3) His "theory" is empirically un-testable.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    The way I understand it, #1 is not true. Guth's inflation begins with the tiniest trace of matter.

    In a sense the Big Bang scenario is similar to the Creation account in Genesis because it still for the vast majority of us rests on faith. Guth and his fellow cosmologists are like modern magi interpreting what they see in the heavenly regions, albeit with more powerful instruments than the human eye.

  • Marvelous post. Love the child of the universe photo, too!

    AW and Jack-- Will you be watching?
    Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, premiere Sunday March 9 @ 9 p.m. ET on FOX. More stuff on National Geographic Channel on March 10 @ 10 p.m.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Maybe that explains why Simpsons Wiki says that there will be a one hour special Simpsons that Sunday. Fox might keep me for the night, for a change.

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