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Inflation, Infinity, Equilibrium and the Observable Universe
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 will review the status of the standard eternal inflation picture with an eye on the roles various infinities have (both helpful and unhelpful) in our current understanding. I will then discuss attempts to construct an alternative cosmological framework that is truly finite and thus avoids some of the problems present in infinite cosmologies. This alternative framework uses ideas about equilibrium and dark energy. Finally, I will report some recent results that point to observable signatures.
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