MJ Feigenbaum
A science lecture for lay public
Saturday, 20 May 2006
The Rockefeller Auditorium, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen

Before the Big-Bang; an Outrageous Solution to a Profound Cosmological Puzzle

Roger Penrose
Oxford University

The second law of thermodynamics asserts that things get more "random" as time progresses. This tells us that the beginning of the universe - the "big bang" - must have been an extraordinarily precisely organized state. What was this state? How can we resolve the mystery of how such precision came about? In this talk, a novel (and perhaps outrageous) solution is suggested, which involves an examination of what is to be expected of the very remote future of our universe, with its observed accelerated expansion. My suggestion depends upon a slightly more primitive form of spacetime geometry than Einstein's curved mertic geometry, namely conformal geometry, in which it is merely the local speed of light (i.e. "light-cone-structure") which provides the needed geometry. Some possible observational consequences of the proposal will be indicated.