Andrei Linde on Inflationary Cosmology and the Multiverse

Andrei Linde is a professor of physics at Stanford University. In the early 1980s, he proposed the theory of “chaotic inflation” (or “eternal inflation”) to provide a physical explanation for the large-scale properties of the universe which were being revealed by studies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. His theory explained the creation of the matter in the universe by a process called “reheating” when the field that causes the inflation decays into elementary particles and electromagnetic radiation. The multiverse, consisting of an infinite number of causally disconnected bubbles in which inflation occurs, just “falls out” of the chaotic inflation model, and Linde has been a vocal advocate of the reality of the multiverse.

In this two hour conversation, Prof. Linde describes how the increasing precision of measurements of the CMB are constraining models of cosmic inflation, excluding many mechanisms thought plausible for many years.

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