Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poking Holes in Inflation

NEW SCIENTIST has been only too eager to poke holes in the inflationary paradigm.

Energetic Axions Paint Inflation Into a Corner

"INFLATION, one of the most important ideas in big bang cosmology, may have hit another stumbling block.

"The best explanation for how the newborn universe went through a period of ultrafast expansion has been under increasing scrutiny recently after researchers found irregularities in the cosmic microwave background--the radiation left over from the big bang--that appeared to contradict some of the predictions of the simplest version of the model. (New Scientist 6 June 2008)

"Now this model faces yet another challenge, this time linked to hypothetical particles called axions, which are thought to have preciptated a fundamental change in the state of the early universe."

Inflation would violate both the First Law of Thermodynamics and Relativity's stipulation that nothing travels faster than light. The paradigm rests on hypothetical "inflations" or "scalar fields." The most recent work relies on alternate universes, each with different values of inflation. None of these fantasies have ever been observed in nature. We can not time-travel to the first 10^{-33} seconds, and no human experiment can approach the titanic energies of the Big Bang. Inflation has the convenience of being unprovable.

A growing body of evidence casts doubt on inflation. Nevertheless the paradigm has been part of mainstream cosmology, creating great resistance to alternatives. A divergence of inflation theories has kept theorists employed for decades. With one hand inflation's proponents claim there are no alternatives, with the other hand they desperately try to quash alternatives. A changing speed of light would replace both inflation and "dark energy."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Changing speed of light cannot replace inflation and dark energy. The former can be explained by tachyons which "exist" in the theories of quantum field theory and string theory (tachyon condensation). We "need" tachyons again! The latter is a well-known (but not undestood) force called antigravitation. To my mind, we need no "void" to explain
"dark energy" (found again in 1998,
Einstein`s cosmological constant).
In the universe, both gravitation and antigravitation are operated.Today antigravitation rules in the universe (as observed in 1998).

11:55 PM  

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