Inflated Expectations: A Cosmological Tale: A Conversation with Paul Steinhardt

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Open Agenda Publishing, Oct 1, 2020 - Science

This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Director of the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University. He is one of the originators of the theory of cosmic inflation and has become one of its fiercest critics. This fascinating conversation covers topics such as Paul Steinhardt’s scientific development, his formative experiences at Caltech including his encounters with Richard Feynman, his development and later scepticism of the theory of cosmic inflation, the response of the scientific community to the failure of this theory, his theory of cosmology, The Ekpyrotic Universe, and more.. 

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Not Even Wrong, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Scientific Beginnings - Marie Curie, Richard Feynman, and finding one’s path

II. Inflationary Excitement -  A captivating talk and subsequent insights

III. Progress, Tuned Appropriately -  The Nuffield Workshop and its aftermath

IV. Two Major Issues - The initial value problem and eternal inflation

V. Cosmological Denial - Resolutely clinging to a good story

VI. Bouncing Back? - Considering a key change


About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series: 

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website (https://ideas-on-film.com/ideasroadshow/).

 

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Contents

A Note on the Text
Inflationary Excitement
Two Major Issues
Bouncing Back?
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Howard Burton, the founder and creator of Ideas Roadshow and Ideas on Film, holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MA in philosophy. He was the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) from 1999-2007. During his time at PI, he also developed an extensive outreach programme for teachers, students and the general public. His experiences at developing the research and outreach mandates of the institute were described in the book, First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute, featuring a foreword by Nobel Laureate Roger Penrose.

Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning initiative, recipient of the London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2018. Howard has hosted and filmed in-depth conversations with more than 100 of the world’s brightest thinkers, including 3 Nobel Laureates, across the arts, sciences, sports and games.

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