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The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time

Colloquium | September 10 | 4:15-5:30 p.m. | LeConte Hall, Room #1

Sean Carroll, Senior Research Associate in Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

Department of Physics

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.

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