What came before the Big Bang?
How did the universe begin and must it inevitably end?
In this remarkable book Roger Penrose brilliantly illuminates some of the deepest mysteries of the universe.
Cycles of Time contains a penetrating analysis of the second law of thermodynamics - according to which the 'randomness' of our world is continually increasing - and a thorough examination of the light-cone geometry of space-time. It combines these two central themes to show how the expected ultimate fate of our accelerating, expanding universe can actually be reinterpreted as the 'big bang' of a new one.
Presenting various standard and non-standard cosmological models, discussing black holes in depth as well as taking in the role of the cosmic microwave background along the way, Roger Penrose argues that the Big Bang was not actually the beginning of everything - nor will it signal the end.
‘Science needs more people like Penrose, willing and able to point out the flaws in fashionable models from a position of authority, and to signpost alternative roads to follow’ Independent
Where did the universe come from, why is it the way it is, and what is its ultimate fate? Eminent Oxford mathematician Penrose (The Road to Reality) finds "a profound oddness underlying the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the very nature of the Big Bang" theory of the universe s origins. In response, he proposes tweaking the old theory to answer these questions. Armed with some fairly hairy math (logarithms, tensor calculus), Penrose argues that increasing entropy, a natural consequence of the Big Bang, supports space-time models in which an increasing number of hungry black holes should yield matter-spewing white holes as well. Instead, we have an entirely too uniform universe more suited to a "conformal cyclic cosmology" where black holes grow and eventually "pop," yielding a fresh new Big Bang in an infinite "succession of aeons." Although Penrose makes provocative arguments for his challenging new theory (relegating his denser mathematical explorations to the appendixes), readers will need a solid grounding in college-level math and physics to wade through this intriguing work. B&w illus.