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Events in Physics
Title: Inflationary Cosmology: Is Our Universe Part Of A Multiverse?    (Colloquia)
Start Date: 04/11/2011
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: 1 Le Conte Hall
Speaker: Alan Guth
Affiliation: Professor of Physics, MIT
Contact Person: Sarah Wittmer   (510) 642-3034

The talk will summarize how inflation works, and also the key pieces of evidence that our universe actually underwent this process. Almost all versions of inflation lead to eternal inflation: inflation goes on forever, producing a "multiverse" of "pocket universes". Although the line of reasoning is controverial, such a multiverse might help to explain one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology: the question of why the vacuum energy density (or cosmological constant) is many orders of magnitude smaller than would be expected from our understanding of particle physics.