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What Banged? Top Scientist Neil Turok at Canada’s Perimeter Institute to Share Insight on Deepest Mysteries of the Cosmos

The evidence that the universe emerged 14 billion years ago from an event called 'the Big Bang' is overwhelming. Yet the cause of this event remains deeply mysterious.

In the conventional picture, the 'initial singularity' is unexplained. It is simply assumed that the universe somehow sprang into existence full of 'inflationary' energy, blowing up the universe into the large, smooth state we observe today.

While this picture is in excellent agreement with current observations, it is both contrived and incomplete, leading us to suspect that it is not the final word.

On Wednesday, March 5th, at 7:00 pm, Perimeter Institute will examine this deep mystery in science with preeminent physicist Dr. Neil Turok, Cambridge University, in a sold-out public lecture. Dr. Turok will provide many insights, including those outlined in his recent book co-authored with Dr. Paul Steinhardt – ‘Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang’ – in which there is a view that the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars and planets.

In this presentation for a general audience, the standard inflationary picture will be contrasted with a new view of the initial singularity suggested by string and M-theory, in which the bang is a far more normal, albeit violent, event which occurred in a pre-existing universe.

According to the new picture, a cyclical model of the universe becomes feasible in which one bang is followed by another, in a potentially endless series of cosmic cycles. The presentation will also review exciting recent theoretical developments and forthcoming observational tests which could distinguish between the rival inflationary and cyclical hypotheses.

Renee Ellis | alfa
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