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Surprising Science

No Time Before the Big Bang

After the Big Bang theory was challenged by British cosmologist Robert Penrose, three new papers are pushing back, saying there is no evidence of time before the Big Bang.

Most cosmologists believe that the Universe, and with it space and time, exploded into being some 13.7 billion years ago at the Big Bang, and that it has been expanding ever since. A crucial component of the standard cosmological model—needed to explain why the Universe is so uniform—is the idea that a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, the Universe underwent a brief period of extremely rapid expansion known as inflation. Penrose, however, thinks that the Universe’s great uniformity instead originates from before the Big Bang, from the tail end of a previous aeon that saw the Universe expand to become infinitely large and very smooth.


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