Paul J. Steinhardt explains in his “The Inflation Debate: Is the theory at the heart of modern cosmology deeply flawed?” from the April, 2011 issue of Scientific Americans that indeed, the universe may not have rapidly expanded following the big bang. This rapid expansion is termed cosmic inflation, and many have, until now, thought of it as a fact, not a theory. However, this theory is now under great debate. The cosmic inflation theory argues that the shape and consistency of our universe are both the result of a rapid expansion of space immediately after the big bang.
The reason for this debate is that the circumstances for which inflation can occur are very unlikely. In a sense, that is what makes this theory so interesting, and people generally like interesting things. Some scientists may have gone along with this idea because they felt that such an amazing phenomenon as the big bang required an unbelievable explanation to explain it. Another piece of the cosmic inflation theory that is being put under the microscope is how it is believed to be never ending, with no certain endpoint, having no real forecasts as to what the universe will look like in, say, a hundred years.
Scientists all over the globe are currently working to solve whether this mutinous idea that the cosmic inflation theory is rubbish actually has some truth to it. There are many different proposals in the works that deal with either fixing or replacing this inflation theory. It will surely be interesting to see what these scientists come up with as the new working theory to explain the events following the big bang.
Posted by Derek Melzar (2).