I summarize the arguments that strongly suggest that our universe is the product of inflation. The mechanisms that lead to eternal inflation in both new and chaotic models are described. Although the infinity of pocket universes produced by eternal inflation are unobservable, it is argued that eternal inflation has real consequences in terms of the way that predictions are extracted from theoretical models. The ambiguities in defining probabilities in eternally inflating spacetimes are reviewed, with emphasis on the youngness paradox that results from a synchronous gauge regularization technique. Although inflation is generically eternal into the future, it is not eternal into the past: it can be proven under reasonable assumptions that the inflating region must be incomplete in past directions, so some physics other than inflation is needed to describe the past boundary of the inflating region.
Journal of Physics A Mathematical General
- Pub Date:
- June 2007
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- 21 pages, 5 figures. Talk presented at the "2nd International Conference on Quantum Theories and Renormalization Group in Gravity and Cosmology (IRGAC 2006)," Barcelona, Spain, 11-15 July 2006, to be published in J. Phys. A