What Happened Before the Big Bang?

Posted: October 4, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Roger Penrose
Sir Roger Penrose

Renowned mathematician, physicist and author Sir Roger Penrose will offer a talk titled “What Happened Before the Big Bang? A Novel Answer to a Profound Cosmological Puzzle” on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. as part of the Aharonov Distinguished Lecture Series.

The free lecture will be presented on the Fairfax Campus in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall.

The abstract of Penrose’s talk follows.

“One of the foundation stones of physics is the second law of thermodynamics, which says, in effect, that things get more ‘random’ as time progresses. Accordingly, the beginning of the universe — the ‘big bang’ — must have been an extraordinarily precisely organized (i.e., a very non-random) state. But the particular nature of this state provides us with an apparent paradox, raising the profound issue of how such a special state can have come about. In this talk, a novel, perhaps outrageous, proposal is suggested, which involves an examination of what is to be expected, also, in the very remote future of our universe, with its observed accelerated expansion. It has relevance, also, to some other deep puzzles of physics, from the quantum to the cosmological scale.”

For more information, e-mail shoffer1@gmu.edu or call 703-993-1264.

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