Just finished reading through this: arxiv.org/abs/1707.07702 — Stephen Hawking’s last paper, which explores some questions about the beginning of the Universe
Beware of the press coverage, though. Most of the articles I’ve seen claim the paper says things it definitely does not say. (It is, to be fair, extremely technical.)
REALLY short summary of the paper: Hawking & Hertog found, using some VERY preliminary calculations, that the rapid expansion in the early universe (inflation) might not always create a big mess of a multiverse, but might be more likely to make a cosmos like what we see.
If it holds up, it might make it possible to draw a fairly straight line between the beginning of the cosmos and today, rather than trying to explain why we're in a Universe like ours and not one of the countless others that look totally different.
This doesn't (as some coverage has suggested) lead us to ways of testing the multiverse hypothesis, or space probes that can do cool new measurements. It's a preliminary model for now; there may be ways to back it up in the future.
The paper also doesn't mention the Universe ending, though some media reports have claimed it does. There may have been a misunderstanding about a technical term in the paper: an "end-of-world brane," which is... not about the destruction of the world (or Universe).
I should add that the calculations in the paper, while, again, very preliminary, connect to some really cool ideas, like ways to bring gravity and quantum mechanics together.