The large-scale structure of the universe has been partially revealed by recent observations of cosmic microwaves from the Universe's distant past. The measured temperature variations over the sky provide a test of theories about the Universe's early history. The presence of particular forms of matter can produce a period of accelerated cosmic expansion (' inflation') which creates particular nonuniformities. It is important to determine if these patterns of nonuniformity are consistent with microwave observations, and to investigate whether they can also explain the clustering of galaxies in the Universe today.
Possible varieties of inflation will be studied, precise theoretical predictions calculated, and compared with the microwave background observations. The matter fields producing inflation can also condense into compact star-like objects. The possible structure of these objects will also be studied and investigated whether they can explain the large amount of dark matter that appears to exist in the Universe.