Article begins: "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?" The rest here.