Inflated Expectations: A Cosmological Tale - A Conversation with Paul Steinhardt

by Howard Burton (Author)
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This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Paul Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Director of the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University. He is one of the originators of the theory of cosmic inflation and has become one of its fiercest critics. This fascinating conversation covers topics such as Paul Steinhardt?s scientific development, his formative experiences at Caltech including his encounters with Richard Feynman, his development and later scepticism of the theory of cosmic inflation, the response of the scientific community to the failure of this theory, his theory of cosmology, The Ekpyrotic Universe, and more..

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Not Even Wrong, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Scientific Beginnings - Marie Curie, Richard Feynman, and finding one?s path
II. Inflationary Excitement - A captivating talk and subsequent insights
III. Progress, Tuned Appropriately - The Nuffield Workshop and its aftermath
IV. Two Major Issues - The initial value problem and eternal inflation
V. Cosmological Denial - Resolutely clinging to a good story
VI. Bouncing Back? - Considering a key change

About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit Howard Burton's author page or our website (

Book details

Publication date
September 30, 2020
File size
1 MB