Mon Sep 10, 2012
1 LeConte Hall, 4:10–6 PM
Sean Carroll (Senior Research Associate, Physics and Math, Cal Tech)
The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time
Over a century ago, Boltzmann and others provided a microscopic understanding for the tendency of entropy to increase. But this understanding relies ultimately on an empirical fact about cosmology: the early universe had a very low entropy. Why was it like that? Cosmologists aspire to provide a dynamical explanation for the observed state of the universe, but have had very little to say about the dramatic asymmetry between early times and late times. I will discuss whether the problem of low-entropy initial conditions can be alleviated within the context of a multiverse.