Inflation, infinity, equilibrium and the observable Universe
June 09, 2011
Abstract: Cosmic inflation has given us a remarkably successful cosmological phenomenology. But the original goal of explaining why the cosmos is *likely* to take the form we observe has proven very difficult to realize. I review the status of ‘eternal inflation’ with an eye on the roles various infinities have (both helpful and unhelpful) in our current understanding. I then discuss attempts to construct an alternative cosmological framework that is truly finite, using ideas about equilibrium and dark energy. I report some recent results that point to observable signatures.