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Homework Help: Inflation/Higgs fields

  1. Dec 12, 2005 #1
    Whilst this is possibly not in the correct forum, I figure the people looking here will be the best to ask anyway.

    Basically, I'm writing a few thousand word 'report' on cosmological inflation, or subtopics thereof, it's quite loose.

    (its to be mostly wordy, and since I'm pre-UGdegree years the maths doesn't need to be technical) anyway, down to the reason I'm posting: I'd appreciate it if you guys could give me any tips or point out things I might've missed in this brief plan:

    History - need for inflation

    horizon problem- CMBR evidence
    flatness problem - density parameter affecting: big crunch/existance of galaxies
    monopole problem- phase transitions in early universe expected to produce monopoles. none found (i read several mentions of other topological defects, what might they be?)

    lambda problem that inflation introduces - cosmological constant required to be 10^120, varying cosmological constant could solve this?

    Mechanism for inflation:
    -spontaneous symmetry breaking (breaking of the symmetry in the three fundamental forces via finding non zero values of parameters - higgs fields)

    Am I understanding this Higgs fields deal correctly? - I think I get that the symmetry between the three forces exists when there's no Higgs field present, when the Higgs fields are non-zero, the symmetry breaks down?

    Am i also right in saying that (perhaps in a simplified form) the states which are stationary points of potential in a Higgs field are called vacuum states? and there can be a situation where the vacuum state is zero (false vacuum since it is possible for a lower state to exist, it's just not feasible for the field to break through the potential between these states,) and this situation is basically what triggers the inflation?

    To be honest, i'm feeling a bit snowed in by all the new Higgs stuff i'm uncovering, but then i'm sure it'd be wise to have an understanding for this for my report (assuming this is actually how it works, and i'm not having horrible misunderstandings.. :uhh: )

    After all that, I think I might go on to talk about different solutions in inflation and perhaps get a bit more qualatitive. It's late and i'm not sure i'm still making sense so i'll stop typing.

    thanks for your thought, any comments appreciated.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2005 #2
    anyone..? ..
  4. Dec 12, 2005 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    No, I think your first choice (the A&C forum) was much more appropriate. I suggest you put further questions in your original thread.

    Note: If you have more detailed questions about the standard model and the Higgs boson, a post in the "Nuclei & Particles" forum wouldn't be a bad idea either.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  5. Dec 13, 2005 #4
    thanks, moved.

    delete at will, mods.
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