Erratic Kvitova’s comeback cut short

first_imgTwo-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova’s comeback was cut short on Wednesday when she was dumped out of the French Open in a second round straight-sets defeat to doubles world number one Bethanie Mattek-Sands.The 15th seed, who had only returned this week after a five-month injury absence following a stabbing by a burglar last year, littered the court with errors to lose 7-6 7-6.The 32-year-old American, doubles winner in Paris in 2015, refused to buckle when Kvitova went 4-2 ahead.She whipped in a series of ferocious forehand winners while also frustrating the Czech, constantly forcing her to the net to win the first set with a tiebreak.Kvitova, who had struggled with her returns despite the American getting less than half of her first serves in, pulled herself together and rallied back from 3-1 down to force another tiebreak.The American, however, kept her cool and watched as Kvitova surrendered on match point with her ninth double fault.last_img read more

Unite to end TB

first_imgWorld TB Day, falling on March 24 each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch’s announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch’s discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.The occasion is used as an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of TB worldwide and the status of TB prevention and care efforts. It is also an opportunity to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress in efforts to end TB.This year’s theme is “Unite to End TB: Leave no one behind”, and 2017 is the second year of a two-year “Unite to End TB” campaign for World TB Day. This year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will place a special focus on uniting efforts to “Leave No One Behind”, including actions to address stigma, discrimination, marginalisation and overcome barriers to access care.The Sustainable Development Agenda embraces the principle of ensuring no one is left behind in an effort to transform the world and improve people’s lives for the better. Addressing the health needs of the disadvantaged, the marginalised, and those out of the reach of the health system will mean improving access to health services for everyone. This is essential in order to reach the target of ending TB by 2030 as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO End TB Strategy.Last year, the WHO reported that 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and there were 1.8 million TB deaths in 2015, making it the top infectious killer worldwide. This disease is deeply rooted in populations where human rights and dignity are limited. While anyone can contract TB, the disease thrives among people living in poverty, communities and groups that are marginalised, and other vulnerable populations.According to the Public Health Ministry, tuberculosis is identified as a priority health concern in Guyana, and through its DOTS programme, the Ministry has been able to expand TB services to the 10 Regions of Guyana.The increase of DOTS coverage reflects the strong commitment of the Public Health Ministry to lay the basis for a sound and sustainable fight against tuberculosis all over the country. In observance of the occasion, the Ministry in collaboration with PAHO will be hosting a multi-stakeholder meeting to launch the WHO END TB Strategy in Guyana.This is a forum for affected persons and communities, civil society organisations, health-care providers, collaborating partners and others to discuss and plan further interventions to fulfil the promise of reaching all people with quality TB prevention and care services, as well as enabling TB prevention through multi-sectoral development efforts. According to information released from the Ministry, over the past four years, the TB epidemic has shown some form of stability, while it has acknowledged that the fight against the disease in Guyana has been a long and difficult battle.TB control in Guyana still has some major challenges of which the most critical is the HIV epidemic within the population. This has been identified as one of the biggest concerns and the most important causes underlying the increase in both TB morbidity and mortality. Other challenges include the high prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and the access of isolated hinterland communities. The Public Health Ministry has partnered with key agencies over the years to expand TB services across the country, from one TB site in 2000 to 18 TB sites currently. In her message released on the occasion, subject Minister Volda Lawrence pointed to the fact that it was more important than ever to join forces against TB to successfully reach the goal of ending TB by 2030. It is also imperative for persons to get educated about the disease and to share that knowledge on how TB is transmitted, diagnosed and treated.last_img read more

‘We must believe we can beat Man United’ – relegation miracle?

first_imgHull need a miracle to avoid relegation from the Premier League but manager Steve Bruce is up for the fight.Following their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, the Tigers must beat Man United at home and hope Newcastle lose to West Ham on the final day of the season.“It’s going to be difficult, don’t get me wrong but we’ve got to believe we’ve got a chance,” he said.We’re at home and we beat Liverpool three weeks ago at home. We’ve been to Arsenal, Chelsea and we’ve been to Man City and not been beaten.“We’ve got to turn over Man United, it’s not going to be easy but if we do that I genuinely believe we’ll stay up.”last_img read more

DONE DEAL! Aston Villa sign French midfielder Jordan Veretout from Nantes

first_img Jordan Veretout Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Jordan Veretout from Nantes, for an undisclosed fee.The 22-year-old joins on a five-year deal from the Ligue 1 club Nantes, having been linked with a move to the Premier League throughout the summer.Veretout was a regular in Les Canaris side last season, scoring seven times in 39 appearances, and Sherwood expects his new signing to be a big hit in the Premier League.“I’m really pleased Jordan decided to choose Aston Villa over the other options he had and opt to continue his development with us,” Sherwood told the club’s website.“He is only 22-years-old but he is vastly experienced for someone that age.“He has played over 140 games in Ligue 1 and is a really exciting young player.“I know he is very highly rated over in France so we are delighted to get this deal over the line.The French midfielder is the seventh player to arrive at Villa Park this summer. 1last_img read more

Rio Hondo board candidates debate issues

first_imgThe forum also allowed audience members to submit questions for both candidates. One question posed solely to Mendez alluded to his troubles in 2006, when he was censured by the board and removed as president for swearing at the college’s former superintendent, Rose Marie Joyce. “There was a time when the environment here wasn’t well,” Mendez said. “But currently, the board is doing very well. We may disagree but we are moving forward. We enjoy each other.” Martinez, on the other hand, seemed to fumble for answers to questions about binding arbitration and the board’s role in college governance. “The board member’s role is to make sure they do policy, and they maintain civility on the board,” she said, pausing several times. “They address the president solely and he’s the only one they address. They make sure the college is run and they maintain.” (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As chairwoman of a local college-bound program, Martinez said she understands the importance of education – especially at Rio Hondo, which she attended herself and where her youngest son is participating in a dual-enrollment program. “I know this position requires a lot of dedicated hours – I know it well because my husband (Richard) is on the Little Lake City School District board, and my brother Art (Escobedo) is on the Los Nietos School District board,” Martinez said. “With Rio Hondo in the midst of a building program, I will make sure bond funds are used widely,” she added. “And our new president (Ted Martinez Jr.) is also in need of cooperation at this time from the board.” Mendez shared that same sentiment, pointing to the dual-enrollment program, which allows high schoolers to earn their diploma and a two-year college degree at the same time; the priority registration for military veterans; and the college’s new satellite center in South Whittier as examples of his achievements on the board. “I’m proud of our accomplishments here,” said Mendez, a former Rio Hondo student. “And I’m also partly responsible for the stable fiscal management of the college, where we’ve maintained a reserve all eight years I’ve been on the board.” WHITTIER – Both candidates for the Rio Hondo College board of trustees say responsibility, integrity and experience should be key in voters’ minds when they decide who gets elected to the five-member governing panel in next month’s elections. Eight-year trustee Gary Mendez, 38, and challenger Alma Martinez, 51, debated the issues affecting the college Thursday at a candidates’ forum at Rio Hondo, organized by the Whittier League of Women Voters. The seat up for grabs in Trustee Area 4 covers Los Nietos, South Whittier, Santa Fe Springs and North Norwalk. Martinez, who runs a home-based child-care center, said she hopes to build a bridge between the college and the community if elected Nov. 6. last_img read more

I’ve been honest and respectful to Killie keeper, says boss

first_imgHe added: “Initially, I was beating myself up about it. I went home and looked at myself, questioning why it had happened.“I was trying to figure it out, break it down.”While MacDonald has vowed to prove his manager wrong and reclaim his place, Clark was not keen to discuss details of his conversation with the former Hearts and Falkirk shot stopper.He told STV: “I will never divulge what is said between me and my players either on an individual basis or as a group. “I’ve got the utmost respect for every player that I manage and certainly every player that is at this football club has my utmost respect.“I care about them of course, 100%. I try and show them the respect they deserve. I treat them the way I would like to be treated and give them honesty so that’s the way it is.” Lee Clark insists honesty and respect are key to his relationship with Jamie MacDonald and all his Kilmarnock players after the goalkeeper expressed his frustration at being dropped to the bench.The 30-year-old has been replaced by teenager Freddie Woodman, who arrived at Rugby Park in January as part of a trio of loanees from Newcastle United.Clark denied he was required he was required to field Woodman as part of the deal with the English Championship side while MacDonald expressed his confusion following the 1-1 Premiership draw with Hamilton.MacDonald was initially named as a substitute for the Scottish Cup defeat to Accies and he told the Sunday Mail that being replaced by the 19 year old for Killie’s last three matches was “the lowest he’s felt in football”.last_img read more

Motherwell offer striker Louis Moult contract extension

first_img“It’s something we were keen to do. I made it clear to the board and the board backed it fully that we put an offer to Louis.“It’s up to Louis whether he takes that or not. If he doesn’t, fine, he will still be a massive part of what we do. But if he does it would be a big, big boost.”Robinson added: “Boys that have done well, we try and reward with another year. We can’t reward with an extra £500-600 a week, we just don’t have that kind of money. “We get crowds of 4000 people so we can’t add an extra £1000.“We are also in discussions with Carl McHugh, we have offered Carl a new contract as well. We would like to sit down with another couple of players in the near future, finances dictate we can only do a couple at a time.” Steve Robinson is hopeful striker Louis Moult will remain at Motherwell next season after being offered a new contract.The 25-year-old still has one year remaining on his existing deal but has attracted interest from the likes of Scottish Premiership rivals Rangers last season.Well boss Robinson confirmed no bids materialised from the Ibrox side and he is optimistic he will still have the striker in his squad for the new campaign.Moult, who has scored 36 goals since joining the club two seasons ago, is currently working his way back from groin surgery. Robinson said: “I have had a couple of conversations with people but there has been no offers for Louis at this stage. So I am very hopeful that Louis will be with us. “We have offered Louis a new contract, we are negotiating with him. And we’re hopeful that he will stay. “What we can do as a football club is put an offer to him, the best we can offer. We can’t pay what other teams can pay, we know that but Louis is loved here.”He continued: “The fans adore him and he has been brilliant for the football club, and the football club have been brilliant for Louis as well. They have given him a platform to play. last_img read more

Cloud Computing: Gartner Tracks Rapid Migration to SaaS-based BI, but Security and Bandwidth Issues Linger

first_imgIncreasingly Business Intelligence (BI) projects are being deployed into the cloud.  A report from Gartner found that 17 percent of companies have already moved all their BI projects to the cloud and nearly one-third of organizations are planning or are in the beginning stages of using BI in the cloud.James Richardson, research director at Gartner, said “Business users are often frustrated by the deployment cycles, costs, complicated upgrade processes and IT infrastructures demanded by on-premises BI solutions.  SaaS- and cloud-based BI is perceived as offering a quicker, potentially lower-cost and easier-to-deploy alternative, though this has yet to be proven. It’s evident that, despite growing interest, the market is confused about what cloud/SaaS BI and analytics are and what they can deliver.”The Gartner report identifies three trends which are beyond the rapid move of BI to the cloud.  These include:Time to value:   The cloud is able to better meet business demands by enabling deployments that are significantly faster and more more flexible than what is possible with traditional on-premise computing.Cost concerns:  The SaaS pricing model for cloud-based BI services is attractive to many organizations.  The model allows either pay-as-you-go or subscription services which can typically be expensed rather than capitalized.  The cost benefits are particularly clear relative to cash flow and reduction of IT support costs.Lack of available expertise:  SaaS Bi offerings often provide packages solutions which enable organizations to get the benefits of powerful BI capabilities without have in-house analytic experts build custom solutions.Richardson warns that “If their operational business applications are in the cloud, organizations should consider pursuing cloud BI/analytics for those domains. However, they must assess risks on an ongoing basis and ensure their chosen cloud provider has appropriate business skills to provide a viable outcome.  They must also ensure their BI strategy outlines how to ensure that data flows to and from these solutions in order not to become yet more silos of analysis.”Ian Bertram, managing vice president at Gartner, added that “from a feature and functionality perspective, there is no real benefit with cloud BI. And from a total cost of ownership perspective, it costs just as much if not more than on-premise BI.”  The cloud brings with it additional worries about security and the costs and potential delays resulting from transferring large amounts of data to and from the cloud.But Bertram added that the cloud has the potential to actually break down silos by making data more readily accessible.  Bertram said that “There is greater efficiency to be gained by storing the data in a single location and providing the capabilities for all involved organizations to slice and dice from that one location–that is the cloud–than it is to continue to replicate the data, which will only introduce complexity and poor data quality into business processes.”last_img read more

The Intel® Core™ M Processor: The Game Changer Is Here

first_imgComputing, Evolved.As notebooks and tablets get smaller and faster, the user experience gets better and better. Extra battery life and superb performance means you’ll spend less time looking around for a wall outlet, and more time getting work done. By adopting Intel Core M-powered devices like 2 in 1s, businesses can foster creativity, collaboration, and improve productivity in their organizations.To learn more about Intel’s innovative products and the new Core M Processor, click here. Thinner, faster, more power-efficient. That’s what device manufacturers are constantly aspiring toward, but it takes more than aspiration to get there. Enter Intel’s new Core™ M processor, an unprecedented development in chip architecture that will change the face of mobile computing. As Forbes recently put it, the Intel Core M processor is a “game changer.”High Performance, More PowerThe Intel Core™ M processor is built to deliver blazing speeds and up to 40% better graphics performance, all while increasing the battery life of your device by up to 1.7 hours. Additionally, the processor boasts an even smaller footprint that doesn’t require a fan, making it ideal for the razor-thin devices of the future. By building around a Core M processor that is only 14nm, device manufacturers can build hardware that is less than 9mm thin — the possibilities for refining mobile device capabilities are boundless. 1 Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests such as SYSmark* and MobileMark* are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information, go to .2. Intel Core M-5Y10 processor (up to 2 GHz, 4T/2C, 4M cache) on Intel Reference Platform. BIOS: v80.1. Graphics: Intel HD Graphics (driver v. 15.36.3650). Memory: 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) Dual-Channel LPDDR3-1600. SSD: Intel 160 GB. OS: Windows 8.1 Update RTM. 35WHr battery. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests such as SYSmark and MobileMark are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information, go to Requires an Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi)-enabled system, compatible adapter, and TV. 1080p and Blu-ray* or other protected con-tent playback only available on select Intel processor-based systems with built-in visuals enabled, a compatible adapter and media player, and supporting Intel® WiDi software and graphics driver installed. Consult your PC manufacturer. For more information, see read more

Stephen Hawking’s (almost) last paper: putting an end to the beginning of the universe

first_img By Adrian ChoMay. 2, 2018 , 5:55 PM Jason Bye/Writer Pictures via AP Images In his last paper on cosmology, Stephen Hawking and a younger colleague attacked cosmic inflation and its discontents. So what’s eternal inflation?Here’s where the concept of inflation runs into problems of its own. Physicists deeply dislike the idea that inflation would stop suddenly, for no particular reason. They’d much rather have a mechanism that explains what drove inflation and then caused it to stop. That’s why they assume some sort of quantum field drove it, before petering out. The idea is that the field starts out in an only approximately stable, higher-energy “false vacuum” state in which space stretches exponentially. It then relaxes to its true lowest energy state, in which space expands much more slowly.The scenario works a little too well, however. The exponentially expanding false vacuum produces more and more of itself, so there’s ever more space expanding at an incredibly fast rate. Our universe is a patch that has undergone the transition to the low-energy true vacuum state. But such transitions should happen randomly, so there should be lot of other universes, too. In fact, the process should produce an ever-increasing amount of space that’s growing at an exponential rate, peppered with an infinite number “pocket universes” growing more slowly.Is that a problem?It depends on whom you ask. At the most basic level, the existence of all these other universes wouldn’t affect our universe. They’re just too far away to have any connection with ours. On the other hand, the notion of eternal inflation and a multiverse may thwart cosmologists’ entire enterprise of explaining why the universe is the way it is, Hertog says. Things like the values of certain key physical constants could vary randomly among the pocket universes, he says, which would render moot any effort to explain why they have the values they do in our universe. They would be set by random chance, Hertog says, and that’s not very satisfying.So how does Hawking’s and Hertog’s paper solve the problem?Hawking and Hertog argue that, in fact, eternal inflation does not occur. To do that, they borrow a concept from string theory that enables them to equate two different types of theories with different dimensionalities. In 1997, Argentine-American theorist Juan Maldacena considered a volume of space in which gravity was at work. Maldacena, who is now at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, then demonstrated that theory was equivalent to an easier-to-work-with quantum theory on the boundary of the space that didn’t include gravity. It’s like saying whatever goes on inside a can of soda can be captured by a theory describing only what’s happening on the can’s surface.Eternal inflation emerges because, in the very early universe, the quantum fluctuations in the field that drives inflation are as big as the field’s average value. But Hawking and Hertog argue that under those conditions one cannot simply carry on with Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but instead must use a maneuver like Maldacena’s to view the entire situation in a space with one less dimension. In that alternative space, things are more tractable, they claim, and the physics does not lead to eternal inflation. Instead, a single, well-behaved universe merges.So what does this have to do with the beginning of the universe?That’s where things get interesting—and tricky. The concept of equating one theory to another in a space with one fewer dimension is known to theoretical physicists as holography. In his work, Maldacena equated one theory to another in a space with one less spatial dimension. But, Hertog argues, the principle of holography allows theorists to jettison the dimension of time, instead. So in Hawking’s and Hertog’s theory, through the principle of holography, the very early universe should be described by a theory with just three spatial dimensions and no time.But why would you want to get rid of time?Ever since it became clear that the universe had a beginning, the moment of its birth has been a headache for theorists. Roughly speaking, Einstein’s general theory of relativity does a fine job of explaining things after the moment of the big bang, but cannot handle the instant of creation itself. That moment forms a “singularity” in spacetime—like a mathematical function that explodes to infinity—that trips up the theory. So theorists have long sought a way of avoiding that singularity—and losing time would be one way to do that.It’s a problem that fascinated Hawking his entire career, Hertog says. Decades ago, he suggested an alternative fix by speculating that in the very beginning, time was, crudely speaking, dimensional, an idea that doesn’t mesh with the new work.So is this the end for eternal inflation and the big bang singularity?Probably not. Others will scrutinize Hawking’s and Hertog’s invocation of the dimension-changing relation. And even if other researchers find it to be sound, there’s still a major question to be answered, Hertog acknowledges. If theorists start with a theory with only spatial dimensions, how does time finally emerge from it? “We threw out a new paradigm,” Hertog, says, “but there’s a lot of work to be done.”*Correction, 3 May, 10 a.m.: This story has been updated to correct the name of the Institute for Advanced Study. Stephen Hawking’s (almost) last paper: putting an end to the beginning of the universecenter_img Cosmic inflation posits that the infant universe underwent a mind-boggling growth spurt, instantly stretching subatomic ripples to the cosmic scale. WMAP Science Team/NASA When Stephen Hawking died on 14 March, the famed theoretical physicist had a few papers still in the works. Today, the Journal of High Energy Physics published his last work in cosmology—the science of how the universe sprang into being and evolved. (Other papers on black holes are still being prepared.) In the new paper, Hawking and Thomas Hertog, a theoretical physicist at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU) in Belgium, attempt to stick a pin in a bizarre concept called eternal inflation, which implies—unavoidably, according to some physicists—that our universe is just one of infinitely many in a multiverse. Borrowing a concept from string theory, Hawking and Hertog argue that there is no eternal inflation and only one universe. But what they’re driving at is something even more basic: They’re claiming that our universe never had a singular moment of creation.How does the argument work? Follow its winding thread to the end of the beginning.Let’s start with the basics: What is cosmic inflation?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Cosmic inflation is a monumental growth spurt that supposedly stretched the infant universe during the first tiniest fraction of a second. Dreamed up in 1979 by American theorist Alan Guth, inflation holds that just after the big bang, space stretched exponentially, doubling the size of the universe again and again at least 60 times over before slowing dramatically.Why would cosmologists believe in something so bizarre?Inflation solves a major puzzle: Why is the universe so uniform? For example, space is filled radiation lingering from the big bang, the cosmic microwave background (CMB). It has almost exactly the same temperature everywhere in the sky. That’s odd, as widely separated points seem at first glance to be too far apart for any influence to reach from one to the other over the 13.8 billion years the universe has been around. Inflation solves that puzzle by implying that all the points in the sky started out close enough to interact, and then were stretched far apart.Is that all inflation does?Ironically, inflation also does a great job of explaining why the universe isn’t completely uniform. Obviously, space is studded with galaxies. According to the theory, inflation stretched infinitesimal quantum fluctuations in those first moments to extragalactic size. The fluctuations then produced variations in the dense soup of fundamental particles that seeded the formation of the galaxies. Inflation predicts a particular spectrum of longer and shorter fluctuations. Strikingly, studies of the CMB and the galaxies confirm that distribution. last_img read more