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- Created 2012-04-25
, or just
is the extremely rapid
of the early
by a factor of at least 10
in volume, driven by a negative-pressure
comprises the first part of the
following the grand unification epoch. It lasted from 10
seconds after the
to sometime between 10
seconds. Following the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand, but at a slower rate.
The term "inflation" is used to refer to the hypothesis that inflation occurred, to the theory of inflation, or to the
. The inflationary hypothesis was originally proposed in 1980 by American physicist
, 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
region. Inflation answers the classic conundrum of the Big Bang cosmology: why does the universe appear flat,
in accordance with the
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.
s 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
While the detailed
mechanism responsible for inflation is not known, the basic picture makes a number of predictions that have been confirmed by observation. The hypothetical
thought to be responsible for inflation is called the
from Wikipedia (last updated: 05 December), licensed under
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NASA March 2006 WMAP press release
WMAP Bolsters Case for Cosmic Inflation, March 2006
Guth's logbook showing the original idea
The Growth of Inflation
hep-th/0311040 David H. Lyth: Which is the best inflation model?
hep-ph/0309238 Laura Covi: Status of observational cosmology and inflation
An Introduction to Cosmological Inflation
Was Cosmic Inflation The 'Bang' Of The Big Bang?
Doughnut theory of the universe
Non-minimally coupled inflation
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