WMAP data of the Cosmic Microwave Background. Credit: NASA

Penrose: WMAP Shows Evidence of ‘Activity’ Before Big Bang

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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Have scientists seen evidence of time before the Big Bang, and perhaps a verification of the idea of the cyclical universe? One of the great physicists of our time, Roger Penrose from the University of Oxford, has published a new paper saying that the circular patterns seen in the WMAP mission data on the Cosmic Microwave Background suggest that space and time perhaps did not originate at the Big Bang but that our universe continually cycles through a series of “aeons,” and we have an eternal, cyclical cosmos. His paper also refutes the idea of inflation, a widely accepted theory of a period of very rapid expansion immediately following the Big Bang.

Penrose says that inflation cannot account for the very low entropy state in which the universe was thought to have been created. He and his co-author do not believe that space and time came into existence at the moment of the Big Bang, but instead, that event was just one in a series of many. Each “Big Bang” marked the start of a new aeon, and our universe is just one of many in a cyclical Universe, starting a new universe in place of the one before.

Penrose’s co-author, Vahe Gurzadyan of the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia, analyzed 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 identified regions in the microwave sky where there are concentric circles showing the radiation’s temperature is markedly smaller than elsewhere.

These circles allow us to “see through” the Big Bang into the aeon that would have existed beforehand. The circles were created when black holes “encountered” or collided with a previous aeon.

“Black-hole encounters, within bound galactic clusters in that previous aeon, would have the observable effect, in our CMB sky,” the duo write in their paper, “of families of concentric circles over which the temperature variance is anomalously low.”

And these circles don’t jive with the idea of inflation, because inflation proposes that the distribution of temperature variations across the sky should be Gaussian, or random, rather than having discernable structures within it.

Penrose’s new theory even projects how the distant future might emerge, where things will again be similar to the beginnings of the Universe at the Big Bang where the Universe was smooth, as opposed to the current 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.

Penrose and Gurzadyan say that the entropy at the transition stage will be very 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 universe.

“These observational predictions of (Conformal cyclic cosmology) CCC would not be easily explained within standard inflationary cosmology,” they write in their paper.

Read Penrose and Gurzadyan’s paper: “Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity”

Additional source: PhysicsWorld

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J. Major
Member
November 22, 2010 10:59 AM

I wonder if this could have some correlation to the proposed existence of “universe-mass” black holes? Could they in fact exist, the remnants of previous universes? Makes the head spin.

clatonium
Member
clatonium
November 22, 2010 10:46 AM

Uh-huh.

Qev
Member
Qev
November 22, 2010 11:00 AM

Um… since when do black holes a) destroy information, and b) not re-emit the entropy they’ve collected through Hawking radiation?

Sili
Member
Sili
November 22, 2010 11:24 AM

Penrose also tells us that conscious is inherently quantum mechanical in nature and takes place in the microtubules.

Forgive me, if I think he should stick to his tilings.

Manu
Member
Manu
November 22, 2010 11:41 AM

Do I understand right: this is no revival of the Big Bang-Big Crunch cycles, but a cycle of Big Bangs with only expansion in between? Interesting.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
November 22, 2010 11:54 AM
This has been making the buzz this weekend, and I read the paper. I must confess some reservations about this. The CCC theory has the Weyl curvature go to zero at the transition point. The Weyl curvature is what propagates gravitational information. If the Weyl curvature is zero across the boundary between these aeons then it seems there would be no information communicated between them. This seems to be a bit of a contradiction. What I write below is a modified (eg simplified) version of something I have written elsewhere on this. The next paragraph gets into some general relativity, while what follows is what I think might explain these circles within the inflationary paradigm. If you are… Read more »
GekkoNZ
Member
November 22, 2010 12:33 PM

So much for: “Comment policy: Be nice and *brief* “

timmy34
Member
timmy34
November 22, 2010 2:05 PM

aren’t you ‘not being nice’??

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
November 22, 2010 3:05 PM
Penrose – yawn. At least he isn’t on about his mind dualism (re: Sili). Obvious problems: – The CMB is known to be gaussian to very high precision. – What Qev said on black holes. – “inflation cannot account for the very low entropy state in which the universe was thought to have been created” is creationism all over again: ‘evolution cannot account for the very organized state in which life was thought to have been created’. As evolution inflation doesn’t have to explain it’s initial state – if it could, it would be part of the process, silly! – cyclical universes: IIRC there are modern results that makes them implausible, as well as the problems that all… Read more »
Uncle Fred
Member
Uncle Fred
November 22, 2010 3:10 PM

I for one, encourage LC’s comments. It is good that explains what he knows for the rest of us mere mortals.

So if I’m following you correctly LC, you are saying that it is far more likely that these CMB anomalies are possibly the remnant signatures of early white holes?

I am a bit unclear as to what you mean by “degree’s of gravitational freedom.” I’ve heard you mention this before. In layman’s terms what does this mean?

Hannes
Member
Hannes
November 22, 2010 3:32 PM

WMAP might be quite useless for Big-Bang issues.

If we would look back from the future to our present state, how much would it differ from today’s “logical” conundrum?

Due to the speed of light there will always be a big mess in defining a “present state” of this universe, especially from this distance, observer dependent as it is is – always.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
November 22, 2010 3:48 PM

I also love LBC’s comments. even when it fries my brain, it motivates me to do some deeper research into the maths part and increases this site much higher than any other science site open for simple people.

JimmerSD
Member
JimmerSD
November 22, 2010 4:36 PM

Welcome back to the Cylic Model. Gads!

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
November 22, 2010 5:08 PM
Torbjorn Larsson OM: I agree that the CMB appears highly Gaussian. Claims of kurtosis in the data have been risen several times and have fallen. This may be just the latest example. The claim of sigma = 6 is somewhat noteworthy. A claim about SUSY physics being detected at LHC with a sigma =~ 3 rose and fell in one day last week. So this might be a bit more than that. This might be a symptom of the web-world, where data can get reported too early and it races around the world, gets on the desk of Penrose who then whomps up a theory quickly only to have it fall in a week. Andy Warhol, eat your… Read more »
kennethroger
Member
November 22, 2010 6:18 PM

The paper mentions “initial material in the universe, which we take to be some primordial form of dark matter.” That thought is worth a whole book – watch for Gurzadyan on the bookshelves.

Dark Gnat
Member
Dark Gnat
November 22, 2010 8:12 PM
I have a lot of problems with cyclic universe theories… 1. Unless gravity overtakes dark energy, how does the process start over. If there is no big crunch, how does the universe know when to start anew? 2. If there is a big crunch, does time reverse? What is the threshold for the reversal of time? If this is the case, is every universe always the same as the one that came before it? (Is it like rewinding the same tape over and over, or can there be changes each time? How could we determine this?) 3. CMBR only goes back so far. These gravity anomalies could have been caused by a number of post big bang events,… Read more »
gopher65
Member
gopher65
November 22, 2010 8:17 PM

Ah Penrose. A good example of what happens to people’s brains as we age. In his case we can see the slow decline in his mental process (as displayed in his work) year after inevitable year. It’s sad. I do not look forward to that happening to mesad.

Question
Member
Question
November 22, 2010 8:34 PM

Nancy, I swear you’ve been reading the comments in recent days. Once again, perfect timing with this article.

sukhoi4700
Member
sukhoi4700
November 23, 2010 12:18 AM

When something comes up against widely accepted idea, its in our nature to reject it. Remember Galileo? I feel that when a person like Roger Penrose has said something there must be some strong arguments to support it.

Inflationary theory also supports the fact that with proper condition any point in universe can spawn a new big bang. Big Bang might not be a very special or unique event.

maruda
Member
maruda
November 23, 2010 12:48 AM

Maybe it’s a stupid question, but – assuming Penrose is right – how does the information about the previous universe (or black holes, doesn’t matter) gets to “our” universe? I’ve always thought, that there can be no information of any kind from theoretical earlier universe found.

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