Roger Penrose is now supporting a cyclical model of the Universe, formally. And about time, since he seems to have punted this model informally for many years.
It does my 51-year-old heart good to read this, as I’ve long had problems with the standard theory of the formation of the Cosmos, not least because it’s, well, clumsy. And we try not to do clumsy in Physics. The inflationary model is a kind of add-on to the general Big Bang theory – an attempt to reconcile what we actually observe about the Universe with what the singularity-positing explanation known as Big Bang describes. In other words, there were problems with a bald theorem of ‘one explosion and then continuing expansion until heat death’ which science has been working with for the last half century at least, so scientists were kind of forced to tack on additional suppositions, such as a period of intense expansion known as the inflationary period to account for the observed diversions to theory.
I have to say, a cyclic expansion and contraction is much more satisfying, aesthetically and even scientifically. Good for Penrose for finally coming out and saying it.
Pic: found over at The Daily Galaxy