General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1671–1674

Does inflation provide natural initial conditions for the universe

Essay

DOI: 10.1007/s10714-005-0148-2

Cite this article as:
Carroll, S.M. & Chen, J. Gen Relativ Gravit (2005) 37: 1671. doi:10.1007/s10714-005-0148-2

Abstract

If our universe underwent inflation, its entropy during the inflationary phase was substantially lower than it is today. Because a low-entropy state is less likely to be chosen randomly than a high-entropy one, inflation is unlikely to arise through randomly-chosen initial conditions. To resolve this puzzle, we examine the notion of a natural state for the universe, and argue that it is a nearly-empty spacetime. If empty space has a small vacuum energy, however, inflation can begin spontaneously in this background. This scenario explains why a universe like ours is likely to have begun via a period of inflation, and also provides an origin for the cosmological arrow of time.

Keywords

CosmologyInflationArrow of time

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Enrico Fermi Institute, Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Cosmological PhysicsUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA