Roger Penrose, the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in physics, claims the universe goes through cycles of death and rebirth. There have been many Big Bangs, according to the scientist, with more on the way. He also claims that black holes hold evidence of previous universes’ existence. These claims are extremely controversial and are not widely accepted in the cosmology community.
Sir Roger Penrose, a mathematician and physicist from the University of Oxford who shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 2020, claims our universe has gone through multiple Big Bangs, with another one coming in our future.
Penrose received the Nobel for his working out mathematical methods that proved and expanded Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and for his discoveries on black holes, which showed how objects that become too dense undergo gravitational collapse into singularities – points of infinite mass.
As he accepted the Prize, Penrose reiterated his belief in what he called “a crazy theory of mine” that the universe will expand until all matter will ultimately decay. And then a new Big Bang will bring a new universe into existence.
“The Big Bang was not the beginning,” Penrose explained to The Telegraph. “There was something before the Big Bang, and that something is what our future will be.”
What evidence does the physicist have for his “conformal cyclic cosmology” (CCC) theory, which challenges current Big Bang dogma? He said he discovered six “warm” sky points (called “Hawking Points”) which are all about eight times larger than the diameter of the Moon. Professor Stephen Hawking, for who they are named, proposed that black holes “leak” radiation and eventually evaporate. As this might take longer than the age of the universe we are currently inhabiting (13.77 billion years old), spotting such holes is very unlikely.
Penrose (89), who collaborated with Hawking, believes that we can see “dead” black holes left by previous universes or “aeons.” This, if proven correct, would validate Hawking’s theories.
The physicist’s 2020 paper, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, provides evidence of “anomalous circular spots” in the CMB that have elevated temperatures. The data revealing the spots came from Planck 70 GHz satellite and was confirmed by up to 10,000 simulations.
Penrose’s 2018 paper identified radiation hot spots in the CMB that could be caused by evaporating black holes. In a 2010 paper, Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan of Armenia’s Yerevan Physics Institute discovered support for cyclic cosmology in the CMB’s uniform temperature rings. The scientists proposed then that the rings were caused by signatures of gravitational waves from colliding black holes in a universe that preceded ours.
These ideas are controversial within the cosmologist community, with some pointing to the difficulty of conforming an infinitely big universe in one aeon to a super-small one in the next. This would imply that as the universe ages, all particles lose mass.
Check out Penrose’s ideas on the quantum-level origins of our consciousness for another fascinating theory.