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Physics  2000 

Inflation and Eternal Inflation

DOI: 10.1016/S0370-1573(00)00037-5

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The basic workings of inflationary models are summarized, along with the arguments that strongly suggest that our universe is the product of inflation. The mechanisms that lead to eternal inflation in both new and chaotic models are described. Although the infinity of pocket universes produced by eternal inflation are unobservable, it is argued that eternal inflation has real consequences in terms of the way that predictions are extracted from theoretical models. The ambiguities in defining probabilities in eternally inflating spacetimes are reviewed, with emphasis on the youngness paradox that results from a synchronous gauge regularization technique. Vilenkin's proposal for avoiding these problems is also discussed.


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