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Why does physicist Nobelist Roger Penrose believe there are black holes left from previous universes

Oxford University physics physicist Sir Roger Penrose won a Nobel Prize earlier this month in a lifetime of work studying black holes, singularities of which even light can escape. Yet he is also behind a provocative and controversial theory about the formation of the universe – that is, that the Big Bang did not mark the beginning of the universe as we know it, but only began the next iteration of our universe. In his theory, known as conformal cyclic cosmology, our current conception in the universe is just one of a series of endless universes that came before it and which also follow.

Of course, cosmology is full of theories of varying degrees of harebrainedness, and many of the most popular ̵

1; such as string theory – do not have any evidence of observation. But Penrose’s prediction is different, as there is some evidence in the observations of cosmic background radiation – meaning the average temperature in the background of the entire night sky, where an outstanding heat from the Big Bang can be seen and the bright ones are different. patch in the sky. As illustrated in the featured picture in this story, some of the “bright spots” may, as Penrose believes, emit radiation from the ancient black holes that preceded this universe.

“The idea of ​​’conformal cyclic cosmology’ by Roger [CCC], is based on three facts, “Pawel Nurowski, a scientist at the Center for Theoretical Physics at the Polish Academy of Science, explained to Salon via email.

“The idea of ​​’conformal cyclic cosmology’ by Roger [CCC], is based on three facts, “Pawel Nurowski, a scientist at the Center for Theoretical Physics at the Polish Academy of Science, explained to Salon via email. In particular, Nurowski said, to make sense of Penrose’s theory, it is necessary to observe an universe with a positive cosmological consistency (meaning mysterious, always captivating force that drives everything in the universe that does not bind far from all), as well as a universe that looks like similar to its end as at its beginning.Observations in our universe suggest that it will end in an chaotic, empty state, that everything is converted into wild pictures that never come into contact to each other.

Nurowski concludes, “We believe that every possible universe will have all three of these features,” that “we have an endless sequence of universes (eons)” and “Penrose considers the order- it follows the attached eons as the whole physical Universe. “

“In this picture, our common cosmology Universe is just one of the eons,” Nurowski added. “So the main difference between ‘conformal cyclic cosmology’ and standard cosmology is that our Universe is only part of the Penrose universe,” while followers of the traditional idea of ​​a Big Bang believe that certain That event began in our present universe.

This brings us to a recent discovery that may support Penrose’s CCC theory. According to a paper co-authored by Penrose, Nurowski and two other scientists, the unexpected hot spots discovered in the background of the universe’s cosmic microwave indicate that there are “anomalous regions,” possibly massive black holes left over from previous unspoiled universes. These regions are known as “Hawking Points,” after Stephen Hawking, who first developed the theory that black holes slowly decompose in unimaginably long hours, emitting so-called Hawking radiation into his honor. The discovery of these Hawking points suggests that Penrose’s cosmological model is accurate.

“The existence of such anomalous regions, resulting from point-like sources in the conformally stretch-out big bang, is a predicted consequence of conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC),” the paper explains, adding that the so-called Hawking point is caused by radiation emanating from the “supermassive black hole in a cosmic aeon before ours.”

It should be emphasized that Penrose’s Nobel Prize was not awarded because of his theory of a subsequent cyclical cosmology. Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb clarified in an email to Salon: “In 1939, Albert Einstein wrote a paper in the Annals of Mathematics who doubted that black holes existed in nature. Penrose that black holes are a solid prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity and in doing so invented a new mathematical tool to visualize spacetime, called Penrose diagrams. “

Loeb added, “He also showed that it is possible to extract energy from a rotating black hole that looks like a flywheel, through the so-called Penrose Process.”

Loeb said Penrose’s belief that hot spots prove that the black holes in question originated in previous universes is controversial.

“The particular theory advocated by Penrose, Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, suggests that the expansion of the Big Bang is repeated in successive cycles of expansion, suggesting that a person can be seen through our current Big Bang in the past Big Bangs, which provides patterns in the background of the cosmic microwave, “Loeb explains. Penrose made the controversial claim that such patterns are visible in the data, but others have shown that the patterns he identified are statistically insignificant …. and thus his claim is controversial . “

There are skeptics in the community of astrophysics. Ethan Siegel, an astrophysicist who writes a science blog published in Forbes magazine, is critical of Penrose’s theory. Last week, he wrote an article entitled “No, Roger Penrose, We Have No Evidence of a ‘Universe Before The Big Bang.'”

“The predictions are [Penrose] What was done was refuted by the data, and his claims to see these effects can only be reproduced if one examines the data in a scientific and uninformed manner, “writes Dr. Siegel. . ” Hundreds of scientists have pointed this out to Penrose – over and over again for a period of more than 10 years – who continue to ignore the field and plow ahead of his arguments. “

Nurowski and Loeb both pushed against Siegel’s claims.

“The person who wrote this article seems to have never read our recent paper in Monthly Notices,” Nurowski wrote to Salon, linking her and Penrose’s article showing evidence for Hawking’s points. “[Siegel] seems to not even read our three more papers. He gives a quote of a picture from an old paper with Penrose and Gurzadyan. He has not a single argument against our latest MNRAS [Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society] paper …. I emphasize that statistical analysis of our paper is at the highest astronomical standard. “

He added, “I am happy to respond to any critics, provided I hear a single argument against it in what we have written, and not its repetition of what common cosmology says. Either we are talking about about facts or beliefs. Our paper is about facts. But to talk about them, someone has to read the paper first. “

Loeb seems to have expressed this view, despite his own skepticism about the CCC.

“My problem with Penrose’s theory is that it did not work perfectly and there is no statistically irrefutable evidence to support the patterns he claims to have encountered in the background of the cosmic microwave, but we must remain open-minded to new ideas what preceded the Big Bang, “Loeb explained. “This is the story where we came from, our cosmic roots. The simple picture we have today is clearly incomplete and requires more scientific work. There is no more intimidation of any new idea.”

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