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[en] I describe reasons to think we are living in an eternally inflating multiverse where the observable 'constants' of nature vary from place to place. The major obstacle to making predictions in this context is that we must regulate the infinities of eternal inflation. I review a number of proposed regulators, or measures. Recent work has ruled out a number of measures by showing that they conflict with observation, and focused attention on a few proposals. Further, several different measures have been shown to be equivalent. I describe some of the many nontrivial tests these measures will face as we learn more from theory, experiment and observation.
[en] Although the inflationary paradigm is the most widely accepted explanation for the current cosmological observations, it does not necessarily correspond to what actually happened in the early stages of our Universe. To decide on this issue, two paths can be followed: first, all the possible predictions it makes must be derived thoroughly and compared with available data, and second, all the imaginable alternatives must be ruled out. Leaving the first task to all other contributors of this volume, we concentrate here on the second option, focusing on the bouncing alternatives and their consequences. Among the bouncing alternatives we have: the exotic hydrodynamical fluids that violate the null-energy condition, the minimally coupled scalar fields theories, and the conformal galileons
[en] Warm inflationary universe models in the context of intermediate expansion, between power law and exponential, are studied. General conditions required for these models to be realizable are derived and discussed. This study is done in the weak and strong dissipative regimes. The inflaton potentials considered in this study are negative-power-law and powers of logarithms, respectively. The parameters of our models are constrained from the WMAP three and five year data
[en] Within the next decade, experiments measuring the anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) will add greatly to our knowledge of the universe. There are dozens of experiments scheduled to take data over the next several years, capped by the satellite missions of NASA (MAP) and ESA (PLANCK). What will we learn from these experiments? I argue that the potential pay-off is immense: We are quite likely to determine cosmological parameters to unprecedented accuracy. This will provide key information about the theory of structure formation and even about the physics behind inflation. If the experiments succeed, can anything spoil this pay-off? I focus on three possible spoilers - foregrounds, reionization, and defect models - and argue that we have every reason to be optimistic
[en] The upcoming satellite missions MAP and Planck will measure the spectrum of fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background with unprecedented accuracy. I discuss the prospect of using these observations to distinguish among proposed models of inflationary cosmology
[en] Linde in J. Cosmol. Astropart. Phys. 01 (2007) 022 shows that some (though not all) versions of the global (volume-weighted) description avoid the 'Boltzmann brain' problem raised by Page [Phys. Rev. D 78, 063535 (2008)] if the universe does not have a decay time less than 20 Gyr. Here I give an apparently natural version of the volume-weighted description in which the problem persists, highlighting the ambiguity of taking the ratios of infinite volumes that appear to arise from eternal inflation.
[en] We present supergravity realizations of chromo-natural inflationary models. We show that by using superpotentials with “imaginary” holomorphic functions of the inflaton one can obtain effective theories of inflation that are also consistent truncations of the original supergravity models.
[en] The inflationary paradigm is now part of the standard cosmological model as a description of its primordial phase. While its original motivation was to solve the standard problems of the hot big bang model, it was soon understood that it offers a natural theory for the origin of the large-scale structure of the universe. Most models rely on a slow-rolling scalar field and enjoy very generic predictions. Besides, all the matter of the universe is produced by the decay of the inflaton field at the end of inflation during a phase of reheating. These predictions can be (and are) tested from their imprint of the large-scale structure and in particular the cosmic microwave background. Inflation stands as a window in physics where both general relativity and quantum field theory are at work and which can be observationally studied. It connects cosmology with high-energy physics. Today most models are constructed within extensions of the standard model, such as supersymmetry or string theory. Inflation also disrupts our vision of the universe, in particular with the ideas of chaotic inflation and eternal inflation that tend to promote the image of a very inhomogeneous universe with fractal structure on a large scale. This idea is also at the heart of further speculations, such as the multi-verse. This introduction summarizes the connections between inflation and the hot big bang model and details the basics of its dynamics and predictions. (author)
[en] In this work, we extend the bottom-up reconstruction framework of gravity to other modified gravities, and in particular for and mimetic gravities. We investigate which are the important conditions in order for the method to work, and we study several viable cosmological evolutions, focusing on the inflationary era. Particularly, for the theory case, we specify the functional form of the Hubble rate and of the scalar-to-tensor ratio as a function of the e-foldings number and accordingly, the rest of the physical quantities and also the slow-roll and the corresponding observational indices can be calculated. The same method is applied in the mimetic gravity case, and in both cases we thoroughly analyze the resulting free parameter space, in order to show that the viability of the models presented is guaranteed and secondly that there is a wide range of values of the free parameters for which the viability of the models occurs. In addition, the reconstruction method is also studied in the context of mimetic gravity. As we demonstrate, the resulting theory is viable, and also in this case, only the scalar-to-tensor ratio needs to be specified, since the rest follow from this condition. Finally, we discuss in brief how the reconstruction method could function for other modified gravities.
[en] We construct effective supergravity theories from customized constrained superfields which provide a setup consistent both for the description of inflation and the subsequent reheating processes. These theories contain the minimum degrees of freedom in the bosonic sector required for single-field inflation.