Our universe may not be the first and it certainly won't be the last. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
Physicists have found what could be evidence of 'ghost' black holes from a universe that existed before our own.
The remarkable claim centers around the detection of traces of long-dead black holes in the cosmic microwave background radiation - a remnant of the birth of our universe.
According to a group of high-profile theoretical physicists including Oxford's Roger Penrose, these traces represent evidence of a cyclical universe - one in which the universe has no inherent end or beginning but is formed, expands, dies, then repeats over and over for all eternity.
"If the universe goes on and on and the black holes gobble up everything, at a certain point, we're only going to have black holes," Penrose told Live Science. "Then what's going to happen is that these black holes will gradually, gradually shrink."
When the black holes finally disintegrate, they will leave behind a universe filled with massless photons and gravitons which do not experience time and space.
Some physicists believe that this empty, post-black hole universe will resemble the ultra-compressed universe that preceded the Big Bang - thus the entire cycle will begin anew.
If the cyclical universe theory is true, it means that the universe may have already existed a potentially infinite number of times and will continue to cycle around and around forever.
Who knows - perhaps each of us has also lived countless former existences as well.
Source: Live Science | Comments (59)
Black Hole, Universe