Sunday, January 16, 2011

TEDxWarwick - Sir Roger Penrose - Space-Time Geometry and a New Cosmology

A map of the cosmic background radiation (CMB)

Sir Roger Penrose is one of the world's leading mathematical physicists. He is also joint winner of the Wolf prize with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe. Some of his discoveries include Penrose Tiling, Twistor theory and works about the geometry of spacetime. He is also a recreational mathematician and philosopher.

Sir Roger Penrose - Space-Time Geometry and a New Cosmology

Penrose was recently in the press for his belief that he has found proof of the universe prior to the Big Bang, which would confirm his cyclic model of the universe - ‘conformal cyclic cosmology'. From the Daily Mail (UK):

Penrose and Gurzadyan argue that evidence unearthed by Nasa’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotophy Probe in the [cosmic microwave background radiation] shows imprints in the radiation that are older than the Big Bang.

They say they have discovered 12 examples of concentric circles, some of which have five rings, meaning the same object has had five massive events in its history.

The rings appear around galaxy clusters in which the variation in the background radiation appears to be strangely low.

The research appears to cast aside the widely-held 'inflationary' theory of the origins of the universe, that it began with the Big Bang, and will continue to expand until a point in the future, when it will end.

They believe the circles are imprints of extremely violent gravitational radiation waves generated by supermassive black hole collisions in a previous aeon before the last big bang.

They say that this means that this means that the universe cycles through aeons dominated by big bangs and supermassive black hole collisions.

Professor Penrose believes that his new theory of ‘conformal cyclic cosmology' means that black holes will eventually consume all the matter in the universe.

According to his theory, when they have finished all that will be left in the universe will be energy, which will then trigger the next Big Bang - and the new aeon.

Professor Penrose told the BBC: 'In the scheme that I'm proposing, you have an exponential expansion but it's not in our aeon - I use the term to describe [the period] from our Big Bang until the remote future.

'I claim that this aeon is one of a succession of such things, where the remote future of the previous aeons somehow becomes the Big Bang of our aeon.'

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