And thanks to DarkSyde for the plug. The plugging post is worth reading, if only because DarkSyde explains cosmic inflation in a remarkably clear, remarkably awe-inspiring way. After explaining the mechanism, he analogizes,
And that’s why today,at very large scales, the universe looks like someone took a stick of dynamite, put it in a can of paint (Paint starstuff/galaxies), set it off, and took a high speed photo of the resulting explosion showing streamers, sheets, drops, and fliaments of paint flying apart.
Go read the rest. Ultimately it’s a summary of a much deeper but less comprehensible post by Sean Carroll about inflationary models in cosmology.
Now I need to make sure I go to sleep at normal hours instead of just before sunrise, so that among other things I don’t post a welcome ten hours after the fact.