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Guth, Alan H.
Oral history interview with Alan Guth, 1987 September 21 and 1988 March 21.
In the first session, Alan Guth discusses reasons why the inflationary universe has been so influential; history of the development of the inflationary universe model; high school interest in science and preference for oscillating universe model; early career in particle physics; change in career to cosmology; influence of Steven Weinberg; question of legitimacy of work on early universe; mental pictures of the beginning of the universe; first introduction to the flatness problem; visualization of cosmological models; what types of questions can be asked in science; quantum effects in the creation of the universe; different views of quantum mechanics; meaning of time in the early universe; anthropic principle; multitude of universes; questions of purposeful versus accidental nature of our universe. In the second session, he discusses his parental background; education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); summer work at Bell Labs; history leading up to the discovery of the inflationary universe model; introduction to the flatness problems and horizon problems; initial conditions in physics; question of legitimacy of flatness and horizon problems; attitude toward de Lapparent, Geller, and Huchra's work on large-scale inhomogeneities; the question of whether the universe is homogeneous on the large scale; outstanding problems in cosmology: galaxy formation, measurements of anisotropy in cosmic background radiation, dark matter; ideal design of the universe.
(1947- ). M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (1969); Ph.D., physics, MIT (1972); instructor of physics at Princeton Universe, research associate at Columbia University, Cornell University, and Stanford University; professor of physics at MIT. Research interests have included the theory of elementary particles, including guage-invariant field theories, lattice gauge theory, magnetic monopoles and grand unified theories; and the application of particle physics to the very early universe.
Geller, Margaret J.
Guth, Alan H.
Huchra, John P.
Weinberg, Steven, 1933-
Bell Telephone Laboratories
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Anthropic principle.
Cosmic background radiation
Dark matter (Astronomy)
Galaxies -- Formation
Inflationary universe.
Large scale structure (Astronomy)
Quantum theory
Interviews. aat
Oral histories. aat
Transcripts. aat
Lightman, Alan P., 1948-, interviewer.
American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA