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.
%T The Inflationary Universe %S The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins %@ 1999-03-26 %A Guth, Alan H. %K astronomy