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Inflation and the Observable Universe

This diagram depicts how the observable universe expanded with time, according to the so-called Standard Big Bang model(red line) and the Standard model plus inflation ( blue line). Only inflation, the epoch indicated in the blue shading, can solve the Horizon Problem, the discrepancy between the distance that light can travel in a finite period of time and the apparent size of the observable universe at any given time after the Big Bang.

The vertical axis is logarithmic and denotes the exponential growth of the observable universe.

The horizontal axis shows the elapse of time in seconds, from the instant "after" the Big Bang to the present day.

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Copyright, (c) 1995: Board of Trustees, University of Illinois

NCSA. Last modified, 10/4/95