Once upon a time, about 13.8 billion years ago, our universe sprang from a quantum speck, ballooning to one million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times its initial volume (by some estimates) in less than a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. It then continued to expand at a mellower rate, in accordance with the known laws of physics.
So goes the story of cosmic inflation, the modern version of the Big Bang theory. This theory has been developed over the past 3 decades by a number of cosmologists across the world, including SITP physicists Renata Kallosh, Andrei Linde, and Eva Silverstein.
(Source: Quanta Magazine)