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"Our Universe Continually Cycles through a Series of 'Aeons'"

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an interesting article from Daily Galaxy.. http://tinyurl.com/6fg5qv4 This makes the future seem something like Groundhog Day - endlessly repeating
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2011
      URL to an interesting article from Daily Galaxy..

      This makes the future seem something like Groundhog Day - endlessly
      repeating something until we get it right.
      First few paragraphs
      "The circular patterns within the cosmic microwave background suggest that
      space and time did not come into being at the Big Bang but that our
      universe in fact continually cycles through a series of "aeons," according to
      University of Oxford theoretical physicist Roger Penrose, who says that data
      collected by NASA's WMAP satellite supports his idea of "conformal cyclic

      Penrose's finding runs directly counter to the widely accepted
      inflationary model of cosmology which states that the universe started from a point of
      infinite density known as the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago,
      expanded extremely rapidly for a fraction of a second and has continued to
      expand much more slowly ever since, during which time stars, planets and
      ultimately humans have emerged. That expansion is now believed to be accelerating
      due to a scientific X factor called dark energy and is expected to result
      in a cold, uniform, featureless universe.

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      Penrose, however, said Physics World, takes issue with the inflationary
      picture "and in particular believes it cannot account for the very low
      entropy state in which the universe was believed to have been born – an extremely
      high degree of order that made complex matter possible. He does not
      believe that space and time came into existence at the moment of the Big Bang but
      that the Big Bang was in fact just one in a series of many, with each big
      bang marking the start of a new "aeon" in the history of the universe."

      The core concept in Penrose's theory is the idea that in the very distant
      future the universe will in one sense become very similar to how it was at
      the Big Bang. Penrose says that "at these points the shape, or geometry, of
      the universe was and will be very smooth, in contrast to its current very
      jagged form. This continuity of shape, he maintains, will allow a
      transition from the end of the current aeon, when the universe will have expanded to
      become infinitely large, to the start of the next, when it once again
      becomes infinitesimally small and explodes outwards from the next big bang.
      Crucially, he says, the entropy at this transition stage will be extremely
      low, because black holes, which destroy all information that they suck in,
      evaporate as the universe expands and in so doing remove entropy from the

      The foundation for Penrose's theory is found in the cosmic microwave
      background, the all-pervasive microwave radiation that was believed to have been
      created when the universe was just 300,000 years old and which tells us
      what conditions were like at that time.

      The evidence was obtained by Vahe Gurzadyan of the Yerevan Physics
      Institute in Armenia, who analysed seven years' worth of microwave data from WMAP,
      as well as data from the BOOMERanG balloon experiment in Antarctica.
      Penrose and Gurzadyan say they have clearly identified concentric circles within
      the data – regions in the microwave sky in which the range of the
      radiation's temperature is markedly smaller than elsewhere.

      The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation is the remnant heat from
      the Big Bang. This radiation pervades the universe and, if we could see in
      microwaves, it would appear as a nearly uniform glow across the entire sky.
      However, when we measure this radiation very carefully we can discern
      extremely faint variations in the brightness from point to point across the sky,
      called "anisotropy". These variations encode a great deal of information
      about the properties of our universe, such as its age and content.

      The "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe" (WMAP) mission has measured
      these variations and found that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, and it
      consists of 4.6% atoms, 23% dark matter, and 72% dark energy.

      According to Penrose and Gurzadyan, as described in arXiv: 1011.3706,
      these circles allow us to "see through" the Big Bang into the aeon that would
      have existed beforehand. They are the visible signature left in our aeon by
      the spherical ripples of gravitational waves that were generated when black
      holes collided in the previous aeon.

      The "Penrose circles" pose a huge challenge to inflationary theory because
      this theory says that the distribution of temperature variations across
      the sky should be Gaussian, or random, rather than having discernable
      structures within it.

      Julian Barbour, a visiting professor of physics at the University of
      Oxford in an interview with Physics World, says that these circles would be
      "remarkable if real and sensational if they confirm Penrose's theory". They
      would "overthrow the standard inflationary picture", which, he adds, has
      become widely accepted as scientific fact by many cosmologists. But he believes
      that the result will be "very controversial" and that other researchers
      will look at the data very critically. He says there are many disputable
      aspects to the theory, including the abrupt shift of scale between aeons and the
      assumption, central to the theory, that all particles will become massless
      in the very distant future. He points out, for example, that there is no
      evidence that electrons decay.
      The image below shows the CMB fluctuations from the 5-year WMAP survey. The
      average brightness corresponds to a temperature of 2.725 Kelvins (degrees
      above absolute zero; equivalent to -270 C or -455 F). The colors represent
      temperature variations, as in a weather map: red regions are warmer and
      blue regions are colder than average by 0.0002 degrees. This map was formed
      from the five frequency bands shown below in such a way as to suppress the
      signal from our own Milky Way Galaxy.

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