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Course Description
"Before the Big Bang? A new perspective on the Weyl curvature hypothesis"
Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, November 7th, 2005
This is the original lecture by Roger Penrose on his fascinating new model of the universe, its origin and future, and of the "Big Bang"; held at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (November 7th 2005).
There is now a great deal of evidence confirming the existence of a very hot and dense early stage of the universe. Much of this data comes from a detailed study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—radiation from the early universe that was most recently measured by NASA's WMAP satellite. But the information presents new puzzles for scientists. One of the most blatant examples is an apparent paradox related to the second law of thermodynamics. Although some have argued that the hypothesis of inflationary cosmology solves some of the puzzles, profound issues remain. In this talk, Professor Penrose will describe a very different proposal, one that suggests a succession of universes prior to our own.
Sir Roger Penrose is a highly distinguished mathematician and theoretical physicist. He is currently emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. His research interests span many aspects of geometry, having made contributions to the theory of non-periodic tilings (Penrose tilings), to general relativity theory and quantum foundations. He has also had remarkable insights in the science of consciousness. His main research programme is to develop the theory of twistors, which he originated over 30 years ago as an attempt to unite Einstein's theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics.
In 1994 Professor Penrose was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to science. He has received numerous prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their understanding of the universe, the Dannie Heinemann Prize, the Royal Society Royal Medal, the Dirac Medal and the Albert Einstein prize to name a few.
Penrose is a prominent lecturer and author. His 1989 book The Emperor's New Mind became a best seller and won the 1990 (now Rhone-Poulenc) Science Book Prize. His latest books are Shadows of the Mind (1994), The Nature of Space and Time (1996) with Stephen Hawking, The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (1997) and Road to Reality (2004).
Additional tags: "Big Bang" "Roger Penrose" "Oxford University" "Newton Institute" physics cosmology astrophysics "quantum mechanics" "quantum cosmology" mathematics "cyclical model" "maximum entropy" entropy theory universe origin past future "big crunch" cosmos "space-time geometry" "phase-space" inflation thermodynamics "second law of thermodynamics" "thermal equilibrium" "black body spectrum" "cosmic background spectrum" "cosmic microwave background temperature" "dark energy" "positive cosmological constant" "dark matter" "black hole" singularity "time asymmetry" "quantum gravity" "principle of equivalence" "space-time curvature" "Weyl curvature" "Ricci curvature" Riemann astigmatism thermalization "pre-Big-Bang" "horizon problem" "inflationary cosmology" "standard cosmology" "spherical symmetry" "Minkowski space" "Hawking radiation" "Hawking Black-Hole evaporation" "conformal geometry" "conformal rescaling" "Weyl conformal tensor" "conformal invariance" "Einstein cylinder" "gravitational free field"
Category: Science & Technology
Tags: physics cosmology astrophysics quantum mechanics quantum cosmology mathematics maximum entropy space-time geometry phase-space inflation thermodynamics thermal equilibrium dark energy black hole singularity time asymmetry quantum gravity equivalence space-time curvature astigmatism thermalization spherical symmetry Minkowski space conformal geometry gravitational free field