Cosmic inflation, 40 years on

“It is very natural for scientists to come up with the same idea at the same time. Researchers read articles from around the world and from this, new ideas are born.”

My latest piece for Physics World is an interview with Katsuhiko Sato. Forty years ago, Sato was one of a small number of physicists — working in different countries around the world — who independently came up with the theory of inflation. This is the idea that, just after the big bang, the universe went through a period of rapid, exponential growth.

“What surprised me regarding inflation theory is that today many scientists are still working on new types of inflation,” he says.

In our interview, Sato also talks about projects such as the International Linear Collider, an ambitious particle accelerator that could be built in the north of Japan.

Published by Graham Jones

Astrophysicist and language teacher