Thursday, October 27, 2016

A new one-hour documentary on inflation

Peter F. has sent me the following documentary – and some of his thoughts about it.

Can you find one spare hour? Or it may be less if you run the video above at a higher speed. The host interviews cosmologists such as Guth, Aguirre, and Nomura. It covers lots of topics.

What is inflation in general? What is a scalar field and how similar the Higgs field and the inflaton field are? But they get to much more advanced questions. How likely or natural it is for inflation to be eternal? Does string theory predict eternal inflation? Are the initial conditions for inflation likely? Are cyclic models distinguishable from inflation? Would B-modes (primordial gravitational waves) exclude the ekpyrotic Universe? Are they adjustable in inflation? Is inflation more predictive than its competitors?

I formulated the questions so that all the answers given by the program are "Yes" or "very likely".

Just to be sure, I agree with almost everything they say – except for Alan's comments on the Boltzmann Brains and the two-arrow cosmologies (and the crackpot insanities about the cosmologically emergent arrow of time). But in some measure, these things I consider clearly wrong are a very small portion of the program which says many remarkably reasonable things about the black hole (or cosmic horizon) complementarity and many other topics.

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