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Space & Astronomy

Penrose: 'there was a universe before this one'

By T.K. Randall
October 9, 2020 · Comment icon 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.

Source: Independent | Comments (27)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
What I wanna know is, if there's one, why not two? Or ten? Or a thousand? Or ten thousand?  Will there be another one after this one?  If so...  ~
Comment icon #19 Posted by lightly 4 years ago
Much appreciated Rolci..    All Very interesting !    ....but maybe still not dumb enough for me to fully grasp  
Comment icon #20 Posted by lightly 4 years ago
        I love a mass of potatoes with gravyti 
Comment icon #21 Posted by toast 4 years ago
Comment icon #22 Posted by lightly 4 years ago
I was just reading about some of the ideas of  (physicist). .Leonard Susskind .   It was about how black holes Grow  in mass and 'complexity'  and not in Physical Size.   And that they, somehow, expand Inwardly !   Like our Universe does !   Our universe doesn't expand outwardly. . Into some other 'space'.   .(because there Is no 'other' space). .It expands at Every point  Within Itself !                          
Comment icon #23 Posted by docyabut2 4 years ago
I remember reading the scientists can measure the planets around the black hole are being suck in
Comment icon #24 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 4 years ago
Nope. Black holes slowly evaporate through hawking radiation 
Comment icon #25 Posted by lightly 4 years ago
You might be able to explain this.....    I was reading about black holes evaporating, and 'it' was saying that sometimes, some of the  radiation/evaporation was in the form of photons.   (light).   'It' was saying that if a positive particle was absorbed, a negative particle was ejected/evaporated ....and vise-versa.     I was surprised because ,haven't we been told that NOTHING can escape the pull of a black hole,  even light/photon.  ?       Thanks in advance.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 4 years ago
We've known for some time about Hawking Radiation and the evaporation of black holes. Your basic explanation is correct, but involves virtual particles and various quantum effects. 
Comment icon #27 Posted by Rolci 4 years ago
I will say that your understanding is not incorrect. I would invite you to research how small that area of effect would be in the case of, for exampe, a black hole the mass of the Earth. You will find some very simple equations if you do. And if you do the calculations you will find that the area of effect is so small that pretty much nothing gets that close to it as it has a low mass, therefore, again, a low gravitational field - the same as the Earth's. Meaning that it will only attract stuff with the same force the Earth does, which is really low. You probably recall some space rocks that p... [More]

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