What Was It Like When The Universe Was Inflating?
“In theory, what lies beyond the observable Universe will forever remain unobservable to us, but there are very likely large regions of space that are still inflating even today. Once your Universe begins inflating, it’s very difficult to get it to stop everywhere. For every location where it comes to an end, there’s a new, equal-or-larger-sized location getting created as the inflating regions continue to grow. Even though most regions will see inflation end after just a tiny fraction of a second, there’s enough new space getting created that inflation should be eternal to the future.”
You’ve no doubt heard that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that the observable Universe began with the hot Big Bang. What’s far less common, but just as overwhelmingly accepted and well-understood, is that a period of cosmological inflation occurred prior to the Big Bang in order to set it up. While most of us can visualize the expanding Universe fairly well, it’s much more difficult to get a good handle on what the Universe looked like during the epoch of cosmic inflation. Yet if you want to know where our Universe came from, and how it was born with the properties our hot Big Bang started off with, that’s exactly the challenge you have to meet.