… despite gravitational wave findings:
Proposed more than 30 years ago, inflation holds that an instant—10 -43 seconds, according to one estimate—after the Big Bang, gravity flipped inside out, briefly becoming a repulsive rather than attractive force. As a result the cosmos underwent an almost unimaginably rapid growth spurt, which had a profound impact on its evolution, before slowing down to a more leisurely rate of expansion.
Many cosmologists fell in love with inflation, because it seemed to solve riddles posed by the basic Big Bang theory. Why, for example, does the universe appear so uniform in all directions? The answer is that inflation would have smoothed out lumps in spacetime, just as blowing up a balloon smooths out its wrinkles.
But inflation has always been more a product of imagination than empirical evidence. There has never been more than circumstantial, hand-wavy support for its core mechanism, the reversal of gravity. Worse, the theory came in many different forms. My favorite was the eternally self-reproducing chaotic inflationary multiverse model proposed by Andrei Linde, who along with Alan Guth and Paul Steinhardt is credited with inventing inflation. More.
Funny how some front a multiverse based on the findings and others doubt inflation. Best approach is likely informed, cautious skepticism.
As if the multiverse wasn’t bizarre enough …meet Many Worlds
But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists
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