Inflationary string theory?
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The inflationary paradigm provides a robust description of the peculiar
initial conditions which are required for the success of the Hot Big Bang model
of cosmology, as well as of the recent precision measurements of temperature
fluctuations within the cosmic microwave background. Furthermore, the success
of this description indicates that inflation is likely to be associated with
physics at energies considerably higher than the weak scale, for which string
theory is arguably our most promising candidate. These observations strongly
motivate a detailed search for inflation within string theory, although it has
(so far) proven to be a hunt for a fairly elusive quarry. This article
summarizes some of the recent efforts along these lines, and draws some
speculative conclusions as to what the difficulty finding inflation might mean.
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