Space & Astronomy
Penrose: 'there was a universe before this one'
October 9, 2020 | 27 comments
This may not be the first cycle of the universe. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Kuroiniisan
Sir Roger Penrose maintains that evidence of our universe's predecessor can still be seen in black holes.
The celebrated British physicist and mathematician, who was recently awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics "for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity", has claimed that black holes offer evidence for the existence of a former universe.
The idea that our universe is but one of a potentially infinite cycle of universes (the conformal cyclic cosmology theory) has been around for a while, however Penrose believes that unexplained spots of electromagnetic radiation (known as 'Hawking Points') may actually be the final expulsion of energy from black holes (or 'Hawking Radiation') that existed in the previous universe.
"I claim that there is observation of Hawking radiation," said Penrose.
"The Big Bang was not the beginning. There was something before the Big Bang and that something is what we will have in our future."
"We have a universe that expands and expands, and all mass decays away, and in this crazy theory of mine, that remote future becomes the Big Bang of another aeon."
"So our Big Bang began with something which was the remote future of a previous aeon and there would have been similar black holes evaporating away, via Hawking evaporation, and they would produce these points in the sky, that I call Hawking Points."
While not all physicists subscribe to this idea, it's certainly an interesting one and if true, could help to prove that the universe, far from arriving from nothing and disappearing into nothing, will cycle on (and has cycled on) for all eternity.
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