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Before the Beginning and Beyond Eternity

Sunday 22 March 2015

1 Hour


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Ticket price

The big bang, the beginning of our universe. The one universe. But is this the whole story? Professor Sir Roger Penrose brings us fascinating new insights and possibilities – and that the universe we live in could be just one of an infinite succession of universes.

A recent theory, conformal cyclic cosmology, proposes that what we presently regard as the entire history of our universe is merely one phase, an ‘aeon’, of an infinite succession of similar aeons. The ultimate expansion of each aeon appears - infinitely scaled down - as the big bang of the next one. Collisions between supermassive black holes in the aeon prior to ours would leave an observable imprint on our cosmic microwave background - apparently already detected by WMAP and Planck space satellites.

BICEP2 south-pole telescope observations have recently been claimed as providing the ‘smoking gun’ of an inflationary beginning to our universe’s expansion. Conformal cyclic cosmology provides an alternative explanation, with intriguing consequences. Penrose’s illustrated talk shows us how. 

Penrose is a world-renowned physicist, mathematician, cosmologist, and author of Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe; The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe; The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics; and Shadows of the Mind: An Approach to the Missing Science of Consciousness. He will be introduced by Clive Cookson, science editor at the Financial Times.