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Joined: 25 Feb 2008, 13:32
Posts: 106
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
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Twistor Theory, Old and New

Fashion, Faith and Fantasy in Modern Physical Theory

Inaugural Lecture: Before the Big Bang

Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.

17 Mar 2008, 17:12

Joined: 07 Jun 2008, 08:21
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I was lucky enough to be able to attend a colloquium at Durham University in the UK last night given by Roger Penrose no less.
Shaun has a link to this same lecture in his post above, and there are lots of other links on Utube etc if you google 'Aeons before the big bang'.


SPEAKER: Prof. Sir Roger Penrose
University of Oxford

TITLE: "Aeons Before the Big Bang?"

VENUE: 16.15, CLC203
(coffee and cookies at 15:45 in the same room)

ABSTRACT: "The cosmic microwave background (CMB) provides much of the
impressive evidence for an enormously hot and dense early stage of the
universe - referred to as the Big Bang - but was this singular event
actually the absolute beginning? Observations of the CMB are now very
detailed, but this very detail presents new puzzles, one of the most
blatant being an apparent paradox in relation to the Second Law of
thermodynamics. The hypothesis of inflationary cosmology has long been
argued to explain away some of these puzzles, but it does not resolve
some key issues, including that raised by the Second Law. In this
talk, I describe a quite different proposal, which posits a succession
of universe aeons prior to our own. The expansion of the universe
never reverses in this scheme, but the space-time geometry is
nevertheless made consistent through a fundamental role for conformal
geometry. Black-hole evaporation turns out to be central to the Second
Law. Some analysis of CMB data, obtained from the WMAP satellite
provides a tantalizing input to these issues."

The lecture theatre was packed with people standing and sitting on the floor.
Some parts of the lecture were hard to understand, but I got the general idea. Lots of people asked questions which RP answered with great enthusiasm.

18 Nov 2009, 15:29
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