Sections
Plus some supplements/complements.
|Ω_tot_0-1| < 0.5 at cosmic time t_0 da/dt = da/dt * Ω_tot - k is a rewritten Friedmann equation (Li-55) |Ω_tot - 1| = |k|/(da/dt) ∝ t**(2/3) for matter era using the EdS solution |Ω_tot - 1| = |k|/(da/dt) ∝ t for radiation era using the EdS solution |Ω_tot - 1|_equality < ([10**12 s]/[4*10**(17) s])**(2/3) ≅ 2**(-4) (L-102) and the value gets vastly smaller as you go ealier.The observable universe seems fine-tuned for flatness now. Is this a problem?
Well if |Ω_tot - 1| = 0 exactly as a symmetry of nature, then no.
But if you believe in some complex/chaotic/multiverse universe from which our observable universe and its unobservable surroundings (our pocket universe in multiverse jargon) arose in which curvature is NOT fixed, then a big bang pocket universe needs a flattening process.
inflation provides this.
Caption: A cartoon of the divergence of Omega.
A cartoon illustrating what happens to the inflaton in the inflation epoch.
Really about definitions: See the response: "Inflation generically leads to eternal inflation and, consequently, a multiverse to infinite diversity of outcomes."