Inhomogeneities and quantum fluctuations

Cosmology (Winter, 2013)

March 18, 2013

Professor Susskind describes the theory whereby inhomogeneities in the universe were caused by quantum fluctuations in the early universe.  He begins with the mathematical equations of a damped harmonic oscillator, and relates that simple system to a dissipative inflaton field with spatial dependencies.  The quantum fluctuations in the zero point energy states of this field lead to inhomogeneities in the universe.  These inhomogeneities explain both the small variations in the cosmic microwave background, as well as the formation of galaxies from regions of high energy density.