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The Expanding Universe – Inflationary Universe Theory

written by: Ricky•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 9/11/2009

Inflation is a global phenomenon and we all know the brunt of it, since it affects our pockets, but this phenomenon has got more gigantic implications, metaphorically speaking

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    Developing A Newer Theory

    The big bang theory was considered sufficient by many experts to explain the origin and current existence of the universe but it contained several technical flaws which needed correction. This led to the development of a new theory towards the last decades of the previous century in the form of Inflationary Universe theory. Just find out what this exactly means in the succeeding sections.

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    Timespan of the Inflationary Universe

    If you are fed up of inflation then just be patient for the whole universe might be inflationary, at least the new theory of the origin of the universe tells us so. All jokes aside, actually scientists were concerned over the shortcomings of the big bang theory and wanted to find a way to solve them. Hence it was proposed that during the initial phase of the expansion there existed a stage known as the inflationary epoch which lasted for a very short period of time.

    You might be thinking that since we are talking of astronomical events here, the short period of time could be in the region of thousands of years but this is utterly wrong. Can you imagine for how much period of time did the inflationary epoch last? Well if you are now thinking in terms of centuries, decades or even months you are nowhere near it. Believe me when I say that this inflationary epoch lasted for a time period of the order of 10-35 seconds.

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    What Happened During this Epoch?

    What all happened in this extremely short time span of 10-35 seconds is really amazing to know and equally hard to comprehend with our human intellect. During this time span the universe got filled with a vacuum energy, and whatever that was it made the normal attractive gravitational force into a negative force for that moment. This means that the particles were thrown apart with tremendous speeds and this lasted for a period of about 10-32 seconds. So fast was the expansion during this phase that the size of the universe expanded to the order of 1050 times its original size that was 10-35 seconds prior to this phase. After this stage the phase transition took place once again and the universe then got settled into the expansion mode as defined by the big bang theory.

    Hence we see that this theory is bit separate from the big bang theory but does not discard it in totality, rather it modifies the same in order to clear some confusions and flaws.

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    Is the Theory True?

    All of the evidence still isn't enough to say that the inflationary universe theory is the final solution to the origin of the universe. Although it seems very satisfactory in theory, it has a lot of things which are still not explained fully using this theory. The quest for knowledge still continues and hopefully some day we will know the answer to this gigantic question.