Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Word on the street: The clock did SO start at the Big Bang!

Here Edwin Cartlidge reports,
Our view of the early Universe may be full of mysterious circles — and even triangles — but that doesn't mean we're seeing evidence of events that took place before the Big Bang. So says a trio of papers taking aim at a recent claim that concentric rings of uniform temperature within the cosmic microwave background — the radiation left over from the Big Bang — might, in fact, be the signatures of black holes colliding in a previous cosmic 'aeon' that existed before our Universe.

[ ... ]

Penrose, however, thinks that the Universe's great uniformity instead originates from before the Big Bang, from the tail end of a previous aeon that saw the Universe expand to become infinitely large and very smooth. That aeon in turn was born in a Big Bang that emerged from the end of a still earlier aeon, and so on, creating a potentially infinite cycle with no beginning and no end.

Now Gurzadyan and Penrose's idea is being challenged by three independent studies, all posted on the arXiv server within the past few days, by Ingunn Wehus and Hans Kristian Eriksen of the University of Oslo2; Adam Moss, Douglas Scott and James Zibin of the University of British Columbia3 in Vancouver, Canada; and Amir Hajian of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto, Ontario4.

- “No evidence of time before Big Bang: Latest research deflates the idea that the Universe cycles for eternity.” Nature News (10 December 2010)
Sounds like bash Roger (“eternally cycling universe”) Penrose”time again (he’s fronting the view they oppose, that things happened before the Big Bang).

Best guess: Penrose gets all the press because the pop sci public needs new universes.