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In the eternal inflation model supported by Sean Carroll and others, the basic premise is that inflation is continuous in places across an infinite cosmos, and that bubble universes (like our own) are created when inflation suddenly ends at a specific point (what we call the big bang).

My question is one of parent/child relationship. Is inflating space the parent? That is, non-inflating space such as we see all around us can only come into existence from a localized ending of eternal inflation. Or, is non-inflating space the parent? That is, new inflating space could randomly occur at any time in some empty corner of an infinite cosmos, creating a new big bang and a new bubble universe.

I'm not asking "what is real?", I'm asking what is the proposal for the eternal inflation model.

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    $\begingroup$ Isn't the idea that this is a quantum state change - and we are in the lower energy state? Hence I imagine that the transition is likely to be only in the one direction (though I suppose there could be tunnelling to a higher energy state) $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2022 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ You're right. I've read more from Will Kinney who explains the quantum field change from high energy potential (unstable equilibrium) to a lower potential (stable equilibrium). So, it would seem that the vacuum energy within non-inflating space (our universe) isn't enough to restart inflation. At least, that's what I think Kinney and others are saying. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 18:44

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