Mathematician Roger Penrose’s theory of conformal cyclic cosmology challenges the Big Bang
Roger Penrose, the mathematician and physicist from the University of Oxford who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2020, believes that the universe has gone through many cycles of death and birth, and that there are more to come. He has developed a theory called “conformal cyclic cosmology” (CCC) that challenges the current idea of the Big Bang.
According to Penrose, there is something that existed before the Big Bang, and that something will be our future. He argues that the universe will continue to expand until all matter breaks down, after which there will be another Big Bang that will create a new universe.
Penrose’s Conformal Cyclic Cosmology theory derives from his identification of six “warm” areas in the cosmos, which he dubbed “Hawking Points” after his colleague Professor Stephen Hawking. These patches, which are roughly eight times the size of the Moon, may signify the presence of “dead” black holes from alternate universes or “aeons.” Such a discovery would substantiate Hawking’s hypothesis regarding black holes discharging radiation and ultimately vanishing.
Penrose’s research has also found “anomalous circular patches” in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation that have higher temperatures. In a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2020, he used data from the Planck 70 GHz satellite and up to 10,000 simulations to find these spots.
Radiation hotspots discovered by Penrose in 2018 within the Cosmic Microwave Background were linked to vanishing black holes. In a 2010 investigation, Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia established proof of cyclic cosmology by studying the concentric circles of uniform temperature within the CMB. Until then, researchers believed that these circles were produced by gravitational waves caused by black hole mergers in an earlier universe.
While Penrose’s ideas have gained some support from the scientific community, there are still many who are skeptical. Some scientists believe that it would be difficult to go from an infinitely large universe in one aeon to a very small one in the next, as this would mean that all parts of the universe lose mass as it gets older.
In addition to his work on cosmology, Penrose has also developed interesting ideas about where consciousness starts at the quantum level. He has proposed that quantum mechanics plays a role in the brain and that microtubules, which are the building blocks of cells, may be involved in the process of consciousness. While these ideas are also controversial, they have opened up new avenues for research in the field of neuroscience.
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