Guth, Alan H.

Date finished: 1999-03-26

A popular
introduction to the inflationary universe theory, written by the
physicist who invented it. The inflationary universe theory explains
the early uniformity and the value of omega by positing a initial
phase of exponential expansion, driven by the *false vacuum*
filling the universe at that point. A region of false vacuum is a
region where the Higgs fields have values that don't minimize the
energy density, but are still metastable because they're in a local
minimum. The false vacuum has several exotic properties; its energy
density is constant, and exerts a negative pressure (suction, in other
words) on the space surrounding it. This negative pressure leads to a
repulsive gravitational field, causing the exponential expansion.

Alan Guth, the author of this book, is the person who invented the idea of inflation, so you can be sure that the science isn't being distorted or misunderstood. An awe-inspiring survey of current thinking in cosmology, and a testament to the power of modern physics.

Tagged: astronomy

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