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Did quantum degeneracy pressure drive inflation?

  1. Apr 18, 2012 #1
    Was cosmic inflation partly driven by the quantum degeneracy pressure of the quarks and electrons?

    Just after the Big Bang they would all be sitting on top of each other - just what fermions don't like to do!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2012 #2


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    No, inflation was driven by something even more exotic still! In order to achieve exponential (accelerated) expansion, it is necessary that the source have negative pressure. The quarks and electrons in the very early universe were highly relativistic and behaved gravitationally like radiation, which has a positive pressure.
  4. Apr 18, 2012 #3
    As bapowell said, the driving force behind inflation would have had to exert a negative pressure - expanding space itself. The hypothetical field that is proposed by inflation is known as the inflaton field. This field would have reached a false vacuum, from which it would exert the negative pressure that drove inflation, allowing the inflaton field to decay into a bath of radiation.
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