Beyond the Big Bang: A New View of Cosmology

Perimeter Institute
CSEC seminar room, JCMB
Friday, November 16, 2012
13:00 to 14:00

The inflationary universe scenario has dominated theoretical cosmology for three decades. However, it has major limitations. What preceded inflation? How do we reconcile the fine tuning of initial conditions and parameters required by inflation, with the dark energy now observed, within a single theoretical framework? Are we forced to adopt a multiverse scenario, and anthropic arguments? In this talk, I will develop an alternate picture, in which the big bang singularity is resolved and in which the value of the dark energy might be fixed by physical processes. The key is a resolution of the singularity and its connection to the dark energy. Using holography, as well as analytic continuation in time, I argue that there is in fact a unique way to match cosmic evolution across the big bang singularity. The latter is no longer the beginning of time but is instead a gateway to an eternal, cyclical universe. If time permits, I shall describe new work connecting this picture to LHC's recent discoveries concerning the electroweak Higgs.