Inflation and the Very Early Universe - Georges Obied The universe we observe seems to have come from surprisingly fine-tuned initial conditions. This observation is at the heart of two of the most important puzzles in cosmology, called the horizon and flatness problems. To explain these puzzles, cosmologists invoke a period of accelerated expansion in the early universe (called inflation). As a bonus inflation, when considered with quantum mechanics, produces fluctuations in the energy density that become the galaxies, planets and other structures we see around us. In this talk, I will explain the motivation and physics of the inflationary paradigm. I am Leverhulme-Peierls Fellow at New College. Before coming to Oxford, I completed my PhD at Harvard University under the supervision of Prof. Cumrun Vafa. My research interests lie at the interface of particle physics, string theory and cosmology. At this junction, I work on various aspects of dark energy, dark matter and early universe cosmology from a fundamental physics point of view.