What is it about?

New observational evidence suggests that structure in the Universe may have started as quantum fluctuations at the interface between the quantum and general relativistic domains, known as the Planck scale, shortly after the Big Bang.

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Why is it important?

Standard inflationary theory, which aims to show how structure could have formed in the early Universe, is fraught with several conceptual difficulties. This new observational evidence demonstrates that the reason for these inconsistencies may be that basic inflationary theory is physically inconsistent. Instead, many of the attributes associated with inflation may actually work much better with the notion that quantum fluctuations emerged into the semi-classical Universe at the Planck scale, shortly after the Universe was born.

Perspectives

Many cosmological observations are now starting to point to a Universe without an inflationary phase at the beginning. The fact that these same data argue for an emergence of structure at the Planck scale strengthens this view, based on the relevance of quantum mechanics and general relativity at the earliest stages of cosmic expansion.

Professor Fulvio Melia
University of Arizona

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This page is a summary of: Quantum fluctuations at the Planck scale, The European Physical Journal C, May 2019, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-019-6963-5.
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