Greetings, Brent. Thanks for joining the conversation! 

On 8 Nov 2003 at 14:37, Brent Meeker wrote: 
> I think you are misinterpreting inflation.  The cosmological
>constant  produces an inflationary pressure that's proportional to
>volume, so over large distances it dominates over gravity.  But over
>shorter distances, i.e. galaxy clusters, gravity dominates.  Since
>gravity dominates, the matter in the cluster doesn't move apart and
>gravity continues to dominate.  Other clusters that are moving away
>experience greater expansion force and move away faster as gravity
>weakens due to distance.  Of course it is not known whether the
>acceleration observed is due to a cosmological *constant* or due to
>some field that may dynamically depend on other variables and so
>change or go to zero. 

I think that's the same viewpoint that Joao is putting forth? Then 
the counter to my argument is that their can be no inflation within 
regions of the universe where the force of gravity is above a 
threshold value? That is a strong counter argument. 

I am not convinced that any value of gravity can stop inflation. Slow 
it locally, yes, and even slow it dramatically. I can not argue 
against that unless dark energy suddenly came into being everywhere 
and all at once when the universe was  something around 5 billion 
years old. But I think it was there all along and from the  moment of 
creation of the universe. It's just a matter of how it gets expressed 
when mitigating circumstances are specified. 

Instead I again think of the balloon model. Place one dot on the 
surface of a balloon that is being inflated. Place another dot 90 
degrees away from it, also on the surface. As the balloon continues 
to inflate, the dots move away from each other. Although very 
primitive in description, this pretty much mirrors what seems to 
actually be happening to our universe. For simplicity of argument, 
I'm ignoring the dimensional movement of the individual dots relative 
to each other and which is not accounted for by inflation. However, I 
will consider the two individual dots, for the sake of argument,  
relative to what is happening to the balloon. 

As the balloon inflates the dots move away from each other. So do the 
subatomic components of an individual dot. But the dots are moving 
away from each other at a very much faster rate than are the 
subatomic components of an individual dot moving away from each 
other. It is, as you pointed out, a phenomenon that is relative to 
volume. There is more volume involved between the 2 dots than there 
is between the components that make up one dot. It is easy to measure 
the apparent inflation velocity of the 2 dots relative to each other 
due to the huge amount of volume involved. But the volume difference 
is so great between the 2 dots as compared to the components that 
make up just one dot that we simply have not observed the  
drastically slowed but still occurring inflation being experienced 
within 1 dot. 

Someone better than I am will have to do the calculations! But I am 
suggesting, based upon what I think is logic, that the amount of 
inflation occurring within one dot in the universe, relative to the 
amount of inflation assumed to be current for the entire universe, is 
going to result in a number that looks very familiar at the quantum  
level. And Im suggesting that the value for it changes over time 
because it is dependant upon how much inflation has occurred. And, I 
suggest that this changing value is what describes the inflationary 
rate of the universe as it continues to speed up. At some finite time 
in the future it will make itself obvious at the quantum level.  But 
for now entire galaxies are just too small in of themselves to fall 
apart, much less atomic particles! Not enough space/time volume 
involved! But given a distant yet finite time, in each case there 
will be, rather suddenly, enough volume involved. But it won't happen 
everywhere at the same time. 

Ron McFarland 

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