The paper investigates certain nonlinear processes that are viable candidates for the mechanisms which produced large-scale inhomogeneities in the early Universe. Several nonlinear Lagrangians are presented for matter, the Korteweg-de Vries equation is analyzed, and the existence of solitons among its solutions is noted. A model based on the possibility of generating a cascade of solitons from an initial perturbation is proposed, and it is shown how large-scale inhomogeneities can be generated when an initial soliton fragments into many others through the nonlinear action of the terms in the Korteweg-de Vries equation. A second model is examined which is based on the interaction of matter with a strong radiation field (an almost monochromatic photon gas) and which involves changes in the refractive index of the vacuum. It is found that matter and radiation will not mix if the radiation field has a nonuniform intensity and that the matter will separate into dense portions or 'cosmological protogalaxies'. The evolution of these portions of matter is studied, and it is found that conditions would be appropriate for the interface between them and the surrounding radiation field to become unstable, giving rise to a turbulent layer.