Before the big bang 2 – Conformal Cyclic Cosmology explained
The conventional view that time began at the big bang is often said to be based on what is known as Penrose Hawking singularity theorems. In our last film, Abhay Ashtekar and Ivan Agullo argued that a singularity is replaced with a bounce in quantum gravity. In this film, we interview Sir Roger Penrose, one of the authors of the conventional narrative who presents an alternative view which he calls CCC (Conformal Cyclic Cosmology). In CCC the big bang is not the ultimate beginning but it did not arise from a bounce; instead the universe rescales itself, losing track of how big it is as massive particles disappear (and hence the ability to measure space and time) in the remote future. This cyclic behaviour may be extended to the infinite past and future.
Whilst Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan’s claim that there was evidence for CCC in the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) was not accepted by the wider community, what’s less well known is that a new team led by Prof Krzysztof Meissner (University of Warsaw, CERN) has claimed a confirmation of CCC in a new study. We discuss this with Professors Penrose and Meissner and put to them many questions regarding this new model.
The film is intended for a lay audience that has an interest in cosmology and the origin of the big bang. The interviewees were asked to check a draft of the film to make sure they had not been taken out of context in the edit and there are no scientific mistakes.
Animation credits: Big bang/expanding universe animation: Alex Bennett
Colliding galaxies: NASA
For more material read Roger Penrose’ book Cycles of Time: amazon.co.uk/Cycles-Time-Extraordinary-View-Universe/dp/0099505940
Technical paper on CCC from the Journal of Physics: iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/229/1/012013
Paper claiming circles in the CMB: link.springer.com/article/10.1140%2Fepjp%2Fi2013-13022-4
Paper denying circles in the CMB: arxiv.org/abs/1012.1305
Meissner’s paper claiming confirmation of circles: arxiv.org/pdf/1307.5737.pdf
Ted Newman’s paper on CCC: arxiv.org/abs/1012.1305
Sean Carroll’s article on CCC and debating William Lane Craig: preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/12/07/penroses-cyclic-cosmology/ preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2012/09/25/let-the-universe-be-the-universe/
William Lane Craig podcast on CCC: reasonablefaith.org/truth-free-will-and-cosmology