In recent years, astronomers and physicists have made huge leads in understanding how the universe began.

Everything that we are going to see in the next thousand years will not be different from what we are seeing right now.

Currently one of the leading theories is called cosmic inflation and it describes the process of the universe expanding from the infinitesimal to cosmic size in a fraction of an instant.

That lead eventually to the formation of galaxies, stars, planets, living things and intelligent life on earth.

Among the first theoretical physicists to provide a consistent and workable theory of the expanding cosmos was Andrei Linde. Working in his native Soviet Union, Linde first published his version of inflation in the early 1980s. He joined the faculty of Stanford University in California in 1990.

So what does the universe really look like? What is our place in it? And why is Professor Linde worried about the future of science?

Andrei Linde talks to Al Jazeera about the beginning of the universe and explains why he thinks recent discoveries are crucial.

"It is so surprising that 100 years ago we didn't know much about it and 50 years from now this will be the end of mapping [the universe]. And we are just lucky to live at the time when these discoveries are going to be made, and after that for millions of years to come, nothing is changing. We are writing the books which will not be rewritten, I hope."  

Source: Al Jazeera