As I understand it, somewhere close to the beginning of the universe, the universe experienced an inflationary phase when the space 'underneath' object began to expand faster than c, the speed of light. Since it wasn't the objects themselves that were expanding, there was no violation of the principle that nothing can move faster than the speed of light, even though the separations between objects increased faster than c. Inflation only lasted for a brief moment, but in that time span the size of the universe increased by many orders of magnitude. Therefore, when inflation ended, every object must have been isolated in it's own private realm. Since every other object in the universe was further away from it than light could travel, there was no exchange of forces or information or anything between objects. Each object was completely isolated, and would remain so for some time, until light from "nearby" objects could reach it. That's the same as saying until the light cone of the two objects intersected, right? This strikes me to be a direct violation of Mach's principle, in which the inertia (and other intrinsic spatial properties like spin) of any particle is only in relation to the distribution of the rest of the mass in the universe. An alternate form of Mach's principle on Wikipedia says that "Mach2: An isolated body in otherwise empty space has no inertia." Then would a photon in a universe just come out of the inflation phase have momenta? Would an electron have spin? How could it? But if it doesn't how could it be an electron? (I presume there must have been electrons, even in the very high energy state early in the universe, since a blackbody always has a tail of low energy components, so everything couldn't have been higher energy particles, just most everything). I'm confused about how this might work. Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.