Saturday, December 17, 2005

Is string theory in trouble?

'First, there was the discovery in the past few years that inflation seems right. This theory that the universe expanded spectacularly in the first fraction of a second fits a lot of data. Inflation tells us that the universe is probably extremely big and necessarily diverse. On sufficiently big scales, and if inflation lasts long enough, this diversity will produce every possible universe. The same process that forged our universe in a big bang will happen over and over. The mathematics are rickety, but that's what inflation implies: a huge universe with patches that are very different from one another. The bottom line is that we no longer have any good reason to believe that our tiny patch of universe is representative of the whole thing.' More


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