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Unformatted text preview: Testing the Theories Why the density of the universe after t he big bang came very close to the critical density is called the flatness problem. The standard big bang model offers no answer, other than thats just the way it was. In the inflationary theory, however, a brief burst of exponential expansion automatically flattens everything, driving the density, no matter what its initial value, to almost exactly the critical density. This does not answer why the other fundamental numbers are just right for the existence of life, but it does offer a solution to the flatness problem. The inflationary theory can solve another problem, that of horizon distance. This is the maximum distance that light can have traveled since the beginning of the big bang universe (this has recently been narrowed down to about 13.7 billion light-years). The cosmic background has recently been narrowed down to about 13....
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- Fall '10