Observations suggest that the initial conditions of the history of the
Universe were set by a period of superluminal expansion of space, called
Cosmic Inflation. Furthermore, they also confirm that the Universe has
recently entered a new inflationary era. General relativity suggests
that this behaviour of space requires the dominant presence of an exotic
substance, called Dark Energy. Therefore, Dark Energy holds the key to
the origin and the fate of the Universe. In this talk, I will review how
inflation is modeled in particle theory and how the two eras of
primordial and late inflation can be linked in the context of a single
theoretical framework. This quintessential inflation can produce
characteristic observational signatures, such as a spike in primordial
gravitational waves, which will be probed in the near future.
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