The big bang, the greatest of all markers in time, it turns out, may not be as hard a wall as previously thought. Scientists studying the background microwave radiation of the Universe have found patterns in the noise, patterns that shouldn’t be there, patterns that are a visible signature of the Universe that existed before the big bang.
Sir Roger Penrose, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, recently announced that he had glimpsed a signal originating in a time before the big bang. Working with scientist Vahe Gurzadyn , with many late nights studying data under their belts a pattern began to appear, the Penrose Circles, a number of concentric circles within the noise. The pattern is visible within the included HMAP picture. Ghostly echos of super-massive black holes colliding and being torn to shreds as the Universe collapsed in on itself.
According to the current standard cosmological model of an inflationary Universe the background noise should be completely random, these circles shouldn’t be there. While mainstream science isn’t ready to throw away the big bang and infinitely expanding Universe of the current theory, Penrose does have them thinking.
Penrose’s hypothesis explaining the circles describes a Universe locked in a cycle of eternal expansion and contraction. After the big bang expansion continues until black holes consume most matter in the Universe then collide causing the Universe to collapse in on itself, causing the big bang. With each complete cycle, or Aeon, echoes of that previous cycle are present in the new Universe. This is a simplified version of course, and this is only one of many interesting theories from the mind of Sir Roger Penrose. All together a very interesting man.
Scientific theory is much like the big bang, not as solid as we would like to believe. As our understanding of the Universe continues to evolve theories have to be adapted or new theories created, this is the natural evolution of knowledge. With more scientific satellites than ever before and more brilliant minds, such as Sir Roger Penrose, to interpret the data expect scientific theory to evolve faster than ever before.