Predictability crisis in early universe cosmology

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (1):122-133 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Inflationary cosmology has been widely accepted due to its successful predictions: for a “generic” initial state, inflation produces a homogeneous, flat, bubble with an appropriate spectrum of density perturbations. However, the discovery that inflation is “generically eternal,” leading to a vast multiverse of inflationary bubbles with different low-energy physics, threatens to undermine this account. There is a “predictability crisis” in eternal inflation, because extracting predictions apparently requires a well-defined measure over the multiverse. This has led to discussions of anthropic predictions based on a measure over the multiverse, and an assumption that we are typical observers. I will give a pessimistic assessment of attempts to make predictions in this sense, emphasizing in particular problems that arise even if a unique measure can be found.

Author's Profile

Chris Smeenk
University of Western Ontario

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-01-27

Downloads
321 (#31,839)

6 months
68 (#22,738)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?