What happened before the Big Bang?

Roger Penrose, a distinguished cosmologist at Oxford University, is publishing a new book, Cycles of Time, in which he argues that our universe did not begin  with the Big Bang.

He thinks we can see in otherwise inexplicable patterns of low variation around various galaxies the evidence of what he calls earlier “aeons” before the Big Bang.  He thinks it suggests that Big Bangs have happened more than once in the past and will continue to happen in the future.  This is different from other, now  discarded, theories hypothesizing that the universe may one day deflate back into the singularity – the incredibly dense dot of energy out of which scientists hypothesize the universe originally emerged – and then inflate again in another Big Bang.

"Rings" in WMAP microwave background data (VG Gurzadyan/R Penrose)Penrose’ theory explains why there are clearly visibly variations in the rings surrounding some galaxies.

Penrose thinks Big Bangs may occur when galaxies run into each other, and that these events are cyclical.

In a BBC interview Penrose was asked what he thought were the implications for a creator God.  Penrose says that although he himself is not a believer, sources in the Vatican have told him that from their point of view, his theory neither confirms or eliminates the possibility of an initiating creator.

 

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About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in Questions beyond Science, something new about something old and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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