Thursday, April 18, 2013

The "Inflationary Unlikeliness Problem": Has Planck Already Sunk Concordance Cosmology?

In a remarkable paper published April 12 on the Cornell University preprint site,  the implications of the Planck observations for our standard cosmology are addressed in (relatively!) "plain English" by a team including one of the creators of inflation theory, Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University.

Is this what it sounds like when the fat lady starts singing............?

"....the favored models are anything but simple. Not only do they greatly exacerbate known problems of initial conditions and the multiverse, but, combined with earlier results from WMAP, ACT and other observations [7], they also create a new problem that we call the inflationary “unlikeliness problem.” Namely, the only way to obtain the Planck results is from potentials that are exponentially unlikely according to the logic of the inflationary paradigm itself.  

"In sum, by favoring only plateau-like models, the Planck2013 data creates a serious new challenge for the inflationary paradigm: the universally accepted assumption about initial conditions no longer leads to inflation; instead, inflation can only begin to smooth the universe if the universe is unexpectedly smooth to begin with!

 PS: We are informed early on that one particular problem is not even considered in all of this:

"(In this Letter, we will not discuss the marginal deviations from isotropy on large scales reported by the Planck collaboration [2]."

Those "marginal deviations from isotropy" include the Axis of Evil.....the marginal little deviation from isotropy that happens to be pointing directly at us.

Interesting times!

Much more to come in "The Principle".

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