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  1. The precision cosmological model describing the origin and expansion history of the universe, with observed structure seeded at the inflationary cosmic horizon, demands completion in the ultraviolet and in the infrared. The dynamics of the cosmic horizon also suggests an associated entropy, again requiring a microphysical theory. Recent years have seen enormous progress in understanding the structure of de Sitter space and inflation in string theory, and of cosmological observables captured by quantum field theory and solvable deformations thereof. The resulting models admit ongoing observational tests through measurements of the cosmic microwave background and large-scale structure, as well as through analyses of theoretical consistency by means of thought experiments. This paper, prepared for the TF01 and TF09 conveners of the Snowmass 2021 process, provides a synopsis of this important area, focusing on ongoing developments and opportunities. Note: Contribution to Snowmass 2021
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 15, 2023
  2. A bstract We construct supersymmetric AdS 4 vacua of type IIB string theory in compactifications on orientifolds of Calabi-Yau threefold hypersurfaces. We first find explicit orientifolds and quantized fluxes for which the superpotential takes the form proposed by Kachru, Kallosh, Linde, and Trivedi. Given very mild assumptions on the numerical values of the Pfaffians, these compactifications admit vacua in which all moduli are stabilized at weak string coupling. By computing high-degree Gopakumar-Vafa invariants we give strong evidence that the α ′ expansion is likewise well-controlled. We find extremely small cosmological constants, with magnitude < 10 − 123 in Planck units. The compactifications are large, but not exponentially so, and hence these vacua manifest hierarchical scale-separation, with the AdS length exceeding the Kaluza-Klein length by a factor of a googol.
  3. A bstract We develop methods for resummation of instanton lattice series. Using these tools, we investigate the consequences of the Weak Gravity Conjecture for large-field axion inflation. We find that the Sublattice Weak Gravity Conjecture implies a constraint on the volume of the axion fundamental domain. However, we also identify conditions under which alignment and clockwork constructions, and a new variant of N -flation that we devise, can evade this constraint. We conclude that some classes of low-energy effective theories of large-field axion inflation are consistent with the strongest proposed form of the Weak Gravity Conjecture, while others are not.