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Inflation in the standard cosmological model

Abstract : 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 multiverse. This introduction summarizes the connections between inflation and the hot big bang model and details the basics of its dynamics and predictions.

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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 1:55:35 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 3:29:24 AM

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Jean-Philippe Uzan. Inflation in the standard cosmological model. Comptes rendus - Physique, 2015, 16, pp.875-890. ⟨10.1016/j.crhy.2015.08.001⟩. ⟨insu-03644682⟩

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