As successful as Big Bang inflationary cosmology is today, it is no longer the “only game in town.” Nor is the Big Bang theory without its own complications and controversies. As mentioned in the class notes, it was the somewhat radical and, some would say, unsupported addition of “inflation” that saved the Big Bang theory. In this activity you will do some research into alternate cosmologies or into some of the problems with inflation.

Before participating in the discussion:

View the video Inflationary Cosmology On Trial [Video file][1 hr 23 min 57 sec]
(View the first 37 minutes at least)

The video describes one of the current, "respectable" alternate scientific cosmologies being studied today. it is also a great summary of some of the problems with (inflationary) Big Bang theory.

Now let’s begin the discussion:

Search the Internet for information on one of these two topics: 1) Inflation or 2) alternate scientific cosmological theories. You may search for articles, blogs, or websites. It is not always easy to do, but be careful and try to discriminate between more mainstream websites and the many other, less informed, ones that exist discussing such BIG questions.

If you choose to investigate alternative, scientific cosmologies, please remember to restrict yourself to scientific theories. Your posting must answer the following questions:

What is the name of the theory?
Who is the author(s)?
What are the main aspects of the theory?
How does it differ from the conventional Big Bang theory as discussed in your readings in the textbook?
Is any evidence given to support the theory? 

Alternatively, if you choose to investigate inflation, please find information on the perceived problems with the theory as well as alternative theories that could replace inflation as a means to substantiate the Big Bang theory. Your posting must answer the following questions:

What is the objection/problem with inflation being addressed in the article/paper?
Who is the author?
Is an alternative theory given, one to replace inflation in the Big Bang theory?
Is any evidence provided which supports the alternative theory? 

You can find most of the scientific papers on these topics at . For example, I found this paper there by searching on the phrase “inflationary cosmology.” Also, try searching there with phrases such as “alternative cosmology,” “alternate cosmology,” and “inflation alternative.” Keep in mind that many of the papers there will involve advanced physics and mathematics, which you are not expected to understand. But, by reading the abstract and summary/conclusions from the papers, you can usually get a good qualitative, verbal description of the main ideas. That is what we are after in this Discussion activity.

For full credit, you should explore at least two resources besides your textbook. Be sure to cite all references used.

Remember, if you provide a quote from a source (i.e., your textbook or the Internet), you must include the correct citation and reference.
Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it. 

Additional Requirements 
Other Requirements: Astronomy