Alan Guth of MIT was one of the nine inaugural winners of the $3 million prize. He was awarded for his cosmic inflationary theory.
In May 2013, he gave a 80-minute talk at the Hunter College, CUNY, New York:
The video was posted on the YouTube channel of the Milner physics prize that you're invited to look at – it's full of acceptance speeches by the winners, aside from long talks by Polchinski, Linde, and others.
Alan was introduced as a postdoc from 1979 who was visited by a muse and biked to his office at Stanford or SLAC. Then he won the Milner Prize a year ago. How did it feel? He had $200 on his account on the previous day; and $3,000,200 on the following day. Alan had to clarify this common misconception. In reality, he only had $3,000,188 because he was charged a $12 wire fee, an event that made him really upset. ;-)
Guth starts his lecture by basic explanations of the rudimentary big bang theory. He said something like
Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,And so on. Afterwards, he would talk about miracles, the repulsive gravity allowed by Einstein's theory, and inflation – the event that gave the bang to the bang and naturally produced (i.e. the cosmic inflation theory has explained) the amazingly uniform *and* flat Universe we see. He spent some time with the multiverse. His own contributions to inflation are mostly independent of the multiverse but Alan is a moderate multiverse believer of a sort. It may be a good idea to hear the story about such theories from non-zealots like Alan.
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools,
We built a wall (we built the pyramids),
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries,
That all started with the big bang!