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date: 27 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The success of the ΛCDM model has raised a number of challenging problems for the origin of structure in the universe and the initial state from which it evolved. The origins of these basic cosmological problems are described. The dark matter must be non-baryonic, but its nature has not been established. Likewise, the nature of the dark energy is not understood. The inflationary model for the very early universe has had some undoubted successes in accounting for the initial power-spectrum of fluctuations from which large-scale structures formed but there is no physical realization of the inflaton field. Defects formed during phase transitions in the early universe cannot account for the initial power spectrum of fluctuations, but may have some part to play in structure formation. The origin of the baryon-antibaryon asymmetry in the early universe is not understood in terms of theories of particle physics.

Keywords: dark matter, dark energy, inflationary universe, topological defects, baryogenesis, primordial perturbations, anthropic principle, new inflation, Planck era.

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