What happened at the beginning of the universe, before the hot big bang? Join astronomer David Mulryne as he gives an introduction to cosmic inflation.
This lecture was recorded at the Ri on 13 July 2023.
For years, there has been a broad consensus in the cosmology community that the 'hot big bang' accurately describes the history of our universe since it was less than a few seconds old. But the question remains, what came before the hot big bang?
David Mulryne delves into the limitations of our current thinking and sheds light on the questions that remain unanswered. According to the hot big bang model, the Universe grew from a hot dense state, and ultimately in this model an 'initial singularity' from which time is measured. However, we only have direct evidence of what happened from when the Universe was a second or so old, and the events prior are still open to debate. Using the very latest findings and insights from the field of cosmology, David explores the leading ideas for what happened before this time, focusing on the theory of cosmic inflation as well as alternative ideas of the Universe’s origin.
David Mulryne is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Astronomy Unit, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London. After completing his MSci at Cambridge and PhD at the Astronomy Unit at Queen Mary, David held postdoctoral positions at DAMTP Cambrdige, the Theory Group Imperial, and at Queen Mary, before being awarded his research and proleptic fellowship in 2014. His particular area of expertise is cosmological inflation, a period of rapid expansion thought to occur before the hot big bang, however David also has extensive experience in teaching, outreach and public engagement. He has been a member of various national grant panels and is currently a member of the STFC Astronomy Grants Panel.
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