In What Sense Is the Early Universe Fine-Tuned?

In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric Winsberg (eds.), Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press (forthcoming)
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Abstract

It is commonplace in discussions of modern cosmology to assert that the early universe began in a special state. Conventionally, cosmologists characterize this fine-tuning in terms of the horizon and flatness problems. I argue that the fine-tuning is real, but these problems aren't the best way to think about it: causal disconnection of separated regions isn't the real problem, and flatness isn't a problem at all. Fine-tuning is better understood in terms of a measure on the space of trajectories: given reasonable conditions in the late universe, the fraction of cosmological histories that were smooth at early times is incredibly tiny. This discussion helps clarify what is required by a complete theory of cosmological initial conditions.

Author's Profile

Sean M. Carroll
Johns Hopkins University

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