Election Year: 2008
Primary Section: 13, Physics
Secondary Section: 12, Astronomy
Membership Type: Member
I am one of the authors of inflationary cosmology, and most of my research interests are still related to this theory. According to inflationary theory, the universe at the very early stages of its evolution came through the stage of an exponentially rapid expansion (inflation) in an unstable vacuum-like state. Even if this stage is very short, inflation stretches the universe enormously, which solves many of the problems of the earlier versions of the Big Bang theory. Small quantum fluctuations stretched by inflation eventually grow large enough to produce galaxies. In some cases, not only galaxies but also new parts of inflationary universe are unceasingly produced, and inflation becomes eternal. In this process, the universe becomes divided into infinitely many exponentially large regions where different laws of low-energy physics may operate. This observation is the basis of the theory of the inflationary multiverse and string theory landscape, which I am helping to develop now, in parallel to my work on observational consequences of various versions of inflationary cosmology.