'You can in principle simulate points on a computer under the force of gravity', says cosmologist Joseph Silk (in Origins, Lightman & Brawer 1992), 'but galaxy formation is something quite different. There you have many other complex things going on, including star formation, and we just have the vaguest glimmerings of a successful theory.' Embryonic inflation, introduced in this book, stakes a claim to be such theory.
Based on a hypothesis about the quantum-physical and embryo-like nature of inflation - the first instant of the Big Bang - the theory traces the origin of the precursor nebulae of a broad hierarchy of astronomical objects to sequences of single energy quanta produced by a (random) process of proliferation of inflation-era particles, and provides initial conditions for a specific scenario of how cosmic structure forms and evolves.
The theory has a small number of observationally-accessible parameters and generates many testable predictions, in particular about the formation, evolution, internal structure and composition of collapsed objects like stars and planets. Implying a robust alternative to the dual paradigm of spatially uniform light-element primordual nucleosythesis and stellar recycling of matter as the sole mechanism of heavy-element production, it generates astro-physical and planetary sciences - their tenets fittingly revised - with cosmology and galaxy formation in a coherent evolutionary framework.