Alex Filippenko - The Big Bang Theory, Inflation, and the Multiverse
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Based on observations and theory, astronomers generally believe in a “big bang” origin for the cosmos - a hot, dense beginning probably characterized by exceptionally rapid expansion, when the Universe grew at a rate much faster than the speed of light. Very recently, compelling new evidence for such “inflation” was found from exquisite studies of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow of the big bang. Natural extensions of these ideas suggest that our Universe may be part of a grander structure known as a “multiverse,” and possibly quite rare in terms of having complexity and life.
Alex Filippenko, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, is a world-renowned expert on some of the most dramatic fields in astronomy, including exploding stars, black holes, active galaxies, and cosmology. He is the recipient of numerous prizes for his scientific research, and he was the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the Nobel-worthy accelerating expansion of the Universe. Voted the “Best Professor” on the Berkeley campus a record nine times, he has produced five astronomy video courses with The Great Courses, coauthored an award-winning astronomy textbook, and appeared in about 100 TV documentaries. In 2004, he received the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.