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False Vacuum: Early Universe Cosmology and the Development of Inflation

In Jean Eisenstaedt & A. J. Knox (eds.), The Universe of General Relativity. Boston: Birkhauser. pp. 223-257 (2005)

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  1. Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy014.
    I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology— and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions.
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  • Does Inflation Solve the Hot Big Bang Model׳s Fine-Tuning Problems?C. D. McCoy - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:23-36.
    Cosmological inflation is widely considered an integral and empirically successful component of contemporary cosmology. It was originally motivated by its solution of certain so-called fine-tuning problems of the hot big bang model, particularly what are known as the horizon problem and the flatness problem. Although the physics behind these problems is clear enough, the nature of the problems depends on the sense in which the hot big bang model is fine-tuned and how the alleged fine-tuning is problematic. Without clear explications (...)
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  • The Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole: How Good a Case Is It?Andreas Eckart, Andreas Hüttemann, Claus Kiefer, Silke Britzen, Michal Zajaček, Claus Lämmerzahl, Manfred Stöckler, Monica Valencia-S., Vladimir Karas & Macarena García-Marín - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (5):553-624.
    The compact and, with \ M\, very massive object located at the center of the Milky Way is currently the very best candidate for a supermassive black hole in our immediate vicinity. The strongest evidence for this is provided by measurements of stellar orbits, variable X-ray emission, and strongly variable polarized near-infrared emission from the location of the radio source Sagittarius A* in the middle of the central stellar cluster. Simultaneous near-infrared and X-ray observations of SgrA* have revealed insights into (...)
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