Ijjas: Cosmology at the Crossroads

by Yang Liu

NY/NJ PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE GROUP
Cosmology at the Crossroads
Anna Ijjas (Princeton)
4:10 – 6:00pm PM , March 3, 2014
201D Philosophy Hall, Columbia University

Abstract. Thirty years of inflation have greatly changed modern cosmological thinking. Most importantly, inflation provides a paradigm for the generation of primordial density fluctuations seeding the structure of our universe, by stretching quantum fluctuations to cosmological distances. However, the physics governing the evolution of the very early universe before nucleosynthesis remains a challenge for modern theoretical cosmology. In this talk, I will begin by reviewing inflationary cosmology and discussing the reasons why most cosmologists today consider it to be the leading paradigm. Then, I will turn to the flaws of inflationary thinking and present possible ways out.