General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1671–1674

Does inflation provide natural initial conditions for the universe

Essay

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

Cosmology Inflation Arrow of time 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

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

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