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Physics  2001 

Eternal Inflation

DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb02128.x

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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. It is argued that essentially all inflationary models lead to (future-)eternal inflation, which implies that an infinite number of pocket universes are produced. Although the other pocket universes are unobservable, their existence nonetheless has consequences for the way that we evaluate theories and extract consequences from them. The question of whether the universe had a beginning is discussed but not definitively answered. It appears likely, however, that eternally inflating universes do require a beginning.


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