Prof Stephen Hawking has come up with a new idea to explain why the Big Bang of creation led to the vast cosmos that we can see today.
Astronomers can deduce that the early universe expanded at a mind-boggling rate because regions separated by vast distances have similar background temperatures.
They have proposed a process of rapid expansion of neighbouring regions, with similar cosmic properties, to explain this growth spurt which they call inflation.
But that left a deeper mystery: why did inflation occur in the first place?
Now New Scientist reports that an answer has been proposed by Prof Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University, working with Prof Thomas Hertog of the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory in Paris.