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The Planck Era and the Inflation Era


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TIME: Planck time, about 10-43 seconds

. At this stage of the Universe's evolution, if string theory is right, then there's not much point to talking about the geometry or temperature of the Universe. We know from duality relations between string theories that spacetime geometry is not fundamental, but emerges as we zoom out to distance scales larger than the Planck length. Physics at the Planck scale may be literally unknowable. But this is still work in progress. We'll keep you posted on later developments.
. Some time after the Planck era, cosmologists believe there was a period called Inflation, which is discussed in another section. The inflationary era is a little easier to pin down theoretically than is the Planck era, but even so, the theoretical physics concerning these two periods in the history of our Universe is still in a state of flux.
. In honor of that fact, we represent the Planck era and inflationary era together by a Universe filled with questions.


How old is the Universe? // Structure of the Universe // The Big Bang // Before the Big Bang? // What about string theory?


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