This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Inflation, strings and the anthropic principle

Alan Guth at the Institute of Physics

By Hamish Johnston

Have you ever wondered what went on in the universe when it was just 10-35 s old — and how this could be related to our special pocket in the multiverse?

If so, you might want to watch a video of the 2009 Newton lecture, which is now available on the Institute of Physics (IOP) website.

The lecture was given in London on 14 October by Alan Guth, who was in town to receive the IOP’s Isaac Newton Medal for his pioneering work on cosmic inflation — a theory that changed the way we think of the early universe.

Entitled “Inflationary Cosmology: Is Our Universe Part of a Multiverse?”, Guth’s talk lasts about one hour. He starts with an explanation of how inflation provides a “simple and natural” explanation for how the universe became what it is today.

He then moves on to dark energy and explains how its discovery has further improved our understanding of the evolution of the universe — but brings with it the “nightmare” of a vacuum energy that is much smaller than that predicted by quantum mechanics.

But inflation offers a way of avoiding this nightmare in a scenario that involves a multiverse of pocket universes, string theory and the anthropic principle…but you’ll have to watch the lecture to find out how!

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile


  1. ” But inflation offers a way of avoiding this nightmare in a scenario that involves a multiverse of pocket universes, string theory… ”
    Oh, so inflation is just as big a load of bull&%!@ as the rest, huh? That’s what I thought.

    • Level Headed

      It obviously wouldn’t take long to run through the full scope of your thoughts, sir.

  2. This is a superb resource, a master presentation on the meaning of inflation from the horse’s mouth. I was up half the night taking notes on his many insights. Many thanks

  3. confidential

    I have a question. If all matter was existent in the time of the big bang then doesn’t it all have to expand at the same rate, so why are the molecules in our body being pulled apart?
    Is it possible the universe infinetly spilts to avoid the particle decomposition


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text