What if the Universe has no end

Perhaps the Big Bang was more of a “Big Bounce”, a turning point in an ongoing cycle of contraction and expansion.

“I have to confess, I never liked inflation from the beginning,” says Neil Turok, the former director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. 

“The inflationary paradigm has failed,” adds Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein professor in science at Princeton University, and proponent of a “Big Bounce” model.

“I always regarded inflation as a very artificial theory,” says Roger Penrose, emeritus Rouse Ball professor of mathematics at Oxford University. “The main reason that it didn’t die at birth is that it was the only thing people could think of to explain what they call the ‘scale invariance of the Cosmic Microwave Background temperature fluctuations’.”

The Cosmic Microwave Background (or “CMB”) has been a fundamental factor in every model of the Universe since it was first observed in 1965. It’s a faint, ambient radiation found everywhere in the observable Universe that dates back to that moment when the Universe first became transparent to radiation.

The CMB is a major source of information about what the early Universe looked like. It is also a tantalising mystery for physicists. In every direction scientists point a radio telescope, the CMB looks the same, even in regions that seemingly could never have interacted with one another at any point in the history of a 13.8 billion-year- old universe. >>>

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