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Students and professors crammed in to lecture hall to find out what exactly happened before the beginning of everything. Theorist Roger Penrose did not disappoint them
Our current universe, or our ‘aeon’, originated in a previous universe, which expanded infinitely.
This is the short version of Sir Roger Penrose’s cosmological theory, popularised in several of his scientific books.
Students, professors and amateurs filled the HCØ auditorium Wednesday 23 February, to hear what it is all about.
A rock star among physicists, the University Post had to fight its way through a group of autograph hunters to ask him a few questions after the talk.
Do you expect the laws of physics to be the same in all the various aeons?
»I would expect the fundamental laws to be the same, but I do not exclude that some of the constants might change. For example, atoms could interact in a different way, via gravitational forces rather than electromagnetic. This would lead to a universe dramatically different from the one we know today.«
What do you enjoy more, doing research or writing books?
»I personally prefer research, although it can be frustrating sometimes: you can go a very long time with nothing seeming to happen at all. When you write, at least you are sure that you are doing something.«
Do you like science fiction? Do you have any author to suggest to our readers?
»When I was young, I used to read a lot. I like science fiction which is well based scientifically, for example Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, and not so much the purely fantasy stories.«
Leading your theory to an extreme, there isn’t any initial moment in the history of the universes. Has this been inspired in any ways by oriental spirituality, which thinks time is circular?
»I don’t think my theory has been influenced by any specific religion or philosophy. However, I always found appealing the idea of not having to have a beginning. In the same way, I think it’s more satisfying to know that the universe has a destination in the next aeon!«
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