Thursday, April 12, 2012
Physics Research Conference
Inflation, infinity, equilibrium and the observable Universe
Andreas Albrecht, Professor of Physics & Department Chair, UC Davis
Cosmic inflation has given us a remarkably successful cosmological phenomenology. But the original goal of explaining why the cosmos is *likely* to take the form we observe has proven very difficult to realize. I review the status of "eternal inflation" with an eye on the roles various infinities have (both helpful and unhelpful) in our current understanding. I then discuss attempts to construct an alternative cosmological framework that is truly finite, using ideas about equilibrium and dark energy. I report some recent results that point to observable signatures.