Alexander Vilenkin

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Alexander Vilenkin at Harvard University

Alexander Vilenkin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Виле́нкин; Ukrainian: Олександр Віленкін; born 13 May 1949, in Kharkiv,[1] Ukraine, Soviet Union) is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University. A theoretical physicist who has been working in the field of cosmology for 25 years, Vilenkin has written over 150 papers.[citation needed]

Soon after[when?] Paul Steinhardt presented the first model of eternal inflation, Vilenkin showed that eternal inflation is generic.[2] Furthermore, working with Arvin Borde and Alan Guth, he showed that a period of inflation must have a beginning and that a period of time must precede it.[3] This represents a problem for the theory of inflation because, without a theory to explain conditions before inflation, it is not possible to determine how likely it is for inflation to have occurred. Evidence exists[clarification needed] to suggest that the probability is very small, resulting in an initial conditions problem.[citation needed]

He also introduced the idea of quantum creation of the universe from a quantum vacuum. Moreover, his work in cosmic strings has been pivotal.[clarification needed][according to whom?]

As an undergraduate studying physics at the University of Kharkiv, Vilenkin turned down a job offer from the KGB, causing him being blacklisted from pursuing a graduate degree.[4][5] Then he was drafted onto a building brigade and later worked at the state zoo as a night watchman while conducting physics research in his spare time.[4][6]

In 1976, Vilenkin immigrated to the United States as a Jewish refugee,[6] obtaining his Ph.D. at Buffalo. His work has been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles in the United States, Europe, Soviet Union, and Japan, and in many popular books.[citation needed]

Books[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ American Men and Women of Science, Thompson Gale, 2005.
  2. ^ Vilenkin, Alexander (1983). "Birth of Inflationary Universes". Phys. Rev. D. 27 (12): 2848–2855. Bibcode:1983PhRvD..27.2848V. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.27.2848. 
  3. ^ Borde, Arvin; Guth, Alan; Vilenkin, Alexander (2003). "Inflationary Spacetimes Are Incomplete in Past Directions". Phys. Rev. Lett. 90 (15): 151301. arXiv:gr-qc/0110012Freely accessible. Bibcode:2003PhRvL..90o1301B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.151301. PMID 12732026. 
  4. ^ a b MENCONI, DAVID. "TO FIND HERSELF AS A MUSICIAN, ALINA SIMONE FIRST HAD TO FIND HER RUSSIAN ROOTS", Tufts Magazine, 2010.
  5. ^ Freedman, David H. "The Mediocre Universe", Discover Magazine, 01 February 1996.
  6. ^ a b STOBER, DAN. "Physicist: Universes pop up ad infinitum", Stanford News, 01 April 2009.

External links[edit]