The Inflaton, Mother of the Universe
The inflaton particle is credited with generating the universe and fuelling its inflation. It has yet to be discovered, but it is fast running out of hiding places, thanks to the theoretical framework known as supersymmetry (SUSY).
Enormous and mainly extinct, supersymmetric particles are the dinosaurs of particle physics. Each of these “sparticles” is the partner of a known particle, and they have already solved several cosmological problems, including smoothing the way for a long-sought grand unified theory of physics.
Now two theories suggest that some sparticles might also be components of the elusive inflaton, which is thought to have driven space-time apart at the dawn of the universe.1
- http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727743.200-closing-in-on-the-inflaton-mother-of-the-universe.html [↩]