hw7 - Eric Couillard Astro 142 28 March 2008 Homework 7 1....

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Eric Couillard Astro 142 28 March 2008 Homework 7 1. The big bang theory had several problems before the development of the idea of inflation. One such problem was the flatness problem. When we mapped the CMB of the universe, judging by our data we would say that the universe is flat. The problem with this is that in order to have the universe be flat the conditions of the universe would have to be just right. .. too much matter and the universe would be spherical, too little and it would be hyperbolic. The chance of the universe being flat is like the chance of flipping a quarter and have it land standing straight up, neither heads nor tails. Another problem with the big bang theory was the relic problem. The GUT would predict many massive particles to be created in the early universe that should be around now as relics, but we have not seen any evidence of these relics in all of our observations. The basic idea of inflation is that there was a period of very rapid expansion in the early universe, much faster than it is expanding today. This expansion occurred due to a “phase change” when the strong force separated from the GUT. Just like the conversion of water to gas in our early steam engines, this phase change produced an enormous amount of energy and caused spacetime to be over pressured and expand dramatically. Inflation can be used to solve the two aforementioned problems. For the flatness problem, the idea is this: imagine taking any reasonably curved surface and expanding it drastically. If you
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hw7 - Eric Couillard Astro 142 28 March 2008 Homework 7 1....

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