Why did the Universe Inflate?
Can you hear me?
It is a great pleasure for me to be back again in Chile, to celebrate the 60th birthday of an old friend, and esteemed colleague, Claudio Bunster, whom I have known for almost 40 years. Claudio has done so much for science in general, and for science in Chile in particular. Being in the city of Valdivia where CECS, the center he created, is located, is quite meaningful to me.
Twenty-five years ago, we held a Nuffield workshop on the Very Early Universe in Cambridge. The inflation scenario had just been proposed, by Guth and others, to account for many of the otherwise unexplained features of the Hot Big Bang model. The original Old Inflation proposal depicted in Fig. 1, of thin walled bubbles, forming in a meta-stable vacuum state, was shown not to work. If the bubble formation rate was high, the bubbles would be close together, and inflation would not last long enough. On the other hand if the bubble formation rate was low, the bubbles would be so far apart, that they never join up and thermalize.
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