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The inflationary universe : the quest for a new theory of cosmic origins

Author: Alan H Guth
Publisher: Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley Pub., 1997.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The classic big bang theory is great at describing what happened after the bang. Yet until recently, particle physicists and cosmologists were stuck on many questions that the big bang theory couldn't answer, including: What made the big bang BANG in the first place? If matter can be neither created nor destroyed, how could so much matter arise from nothing at all? Why can we only see a minute part of the  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alan H Guth
ISBN: 0201149427 9780201149425
OCLC Number: 35701222
Description: xv, 358 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. The Ultimate Free Lunch --
2. The Cosmic Vista from Ithaca, New York --
3. The Birth of Modern Cosmology --
4. Echoes of a Scorching Past --
5. Condensation of the Primordial Soup --
6. Matters of Matter and Antimatter --
7. The Particle Physics Revolution of the 1970s --
8. Grand Unified Theories --
9. Combatting the Magnetic Monopole Menace --
10. The Inflationary Universe --
11. The Aftermath of Discovery --
12. The New Inflationary Universe --
13. Wrinkles on a Smooth Background --
14. Observational Clues from Deep Below and Far Beyond --
15. The Eternally Existing, Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe --
16. Wormholes and the Creation of Universes in the Laboratory --
17. A Universe Ex Nihilo --
App. A. Gravitational Energy --
App. B. Newton and the Infinite Static Universe --
App. C. Blackbody Radiation --
App. D. Units and Measures.
Responsibility: Alan H. Guth ; with a foreword by Alan Lightman.

Abstract:

The classic big bang theory is great at describing what happened after the bang. Yet until recently, particle physicists and cosmologists were stuck on many questions that the big bang theory couldn't answer, including: What made the big bang BANG in the first place? If matter can be neither created nor destroyed, how could so much matter arise from nothing at all? Why can we only see a minute part of the mega-universe? In 1979, a young particle physicist named Alan Guth answered these questions and made front-page news with one of the greatest discoveries in modern cosmology: cosmic inflation. This is the compelling, first-hand account of Guth's paradigm-breaking discovery of the origins of the universe; and it is a fascinating chronicle of his dramatic struggle to justify it. Guth's startling theory states that in the billion-trillion-trillionth of a second before the big bang, there was a period of hyper-rapid "inflation" that got the big bang started. Inflation modifies our picture of only the first small fraction of a second in the history of the universe, and then it joins onto the standard big bang theory, preserving all of the successes of the older theory. But because inflation explains the bang itself, it is a much richer theory than the older versions of the big bang.

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