Inflationary schism

Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt, Abraham Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Classic inflation, the theory described in textbooks, is based on the idea that, beginning from typical initial conditions and assuming a simple inflaton potential with a minimum of fine-tuning, inflation can create exponentially large volumes of space that are generically homogeneous, isotropic and flat, with nearly scale-invariant spectra of density and gravitational wave fluctuations that are adiabatic, Gaussian and have generic predictable properties. In a recent paper, we showed that, in addition to having certain conceptual problems known for decades, classic inflation is for the first time also disfavored by data, specifically the most recent data from WMAP, ACT and Planck2013. Guth, Kaiser and Nomura and Linde have each recently published critiques of our paper, but, as made clear here, we all agree about one thing: the problematic state of classic inflation. Instead, they describe an alternative inflationary paradigm that revises the assumptions and goals of inflation, and perhaps of science generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Volume736
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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