What might appear at first to be a rather psychedelic rendering of the Target (department store) logo, above, is actually a map of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) showing the location of collisions, or “energy transfers”, between our cosmic “aeon” and…the one that came before. That’s right. Each ring is a record, preserved as a slight temperature variance, of the birth (and death) of an earlier cosmic aeon.
The CMB refers to the “black body” radiation (detectable in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum) left over from the Big Bang. The Big Bang — the rapid, energetic expansion of an infinitely dense point known as the singularity — is what originated our universe, according to the theory, and its imprint or “echo” can be found everywhere that astronomers point their (radio) telescopes. In this event, our tiny, but extremely hot, universe underwent an “inflationary epoch”, expanding from the size of an atom to that of a grapefruit in the first few femtoseconds after the Bang. And it continues to inflate (and even accelerate*), 13.7 billion years later.
That, more or less, is the currently accepted model of cosmology. Just one problem: if these concentric circles appearing in the CMB are real (i.e., if they reflect real temperature changes in the CMB, and not instrument “noise”), then this inflationary model would seem to be wrong.
That’s according to a new cosmological model conceived by physicists Penrose and Gurzadyan, and which just happens to predict such “rings” as a result of a massive energy transfer from a previous cosmic aeon to this one.
It’s called Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC) and it posits the existence of an aeon (a vast time period) previous to our cosmic aeon, but which is “conformally identified with ours”. In this chaotic time before the Bang, galactic clusters with super massive black holes at their centers collided and caused enormous explosions — leaving a coherent “pulse” that still beats in the cosmic background.
In the published paper’s abstract, Penrose explains:
“Black-hole encounters, within bound galactic clusters in that previous aeon, would have the observable effect, in our CMB (cosmic microwave background) sky, of families of concentric circles over which the temperature variance is anomalously low…”
To verify the CCC model prediction of concentric circles, Penrose and Gurzadyan analyzed 7 years’ worth of data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Background Probe (WMAP) and discovered that the data “does indeed reveal such concentric circles.” And, if the CCC model is correct**, these rings mean that the universe has “crossed over” from one cosmic aeon to another many times before…perhaps an infinite number of times.
According to the cosmologists, “these observational predictions of CCC would not be easily explained within standard inflationary cosmology.” This is because cosmic inflation is believed to have been too rapid and too smooth to have left such coherent rings in its wake.
And there are other aspects to this compelling, cosmological model: for one, it asserts that, in the “crossover” from the previous aeon to this aeon, gravitational waves from the old aeon (from those colliding black holes) were “rescaled” into a dark matter “field” in our aeon.
Dark matter is the invisible, and only indirectly confirmed, “missing matter” that comprises most of the required mass in our universe. Its presence was postulated to explain the discrepancy between the motion of a (spiral) galaxy and its inferred mass (and also how stars in galaxies stay together instead of flying off in all directions). CCC accounts for the presence of dark matter in our universe, although proof of this transformation of “gravitational freedom” (in the previous aeon) into the first dark matter (the “scalar field” in our aeon) is not yet forthcoming. For now, it seems impressive enough that dark matter is predicted and accounted for by this model.
Quoting from the paper:
“The effect of such an energy burst would be to provide an outward kick to this initial material of the early universe. The kick will be much more energetic than the normal local variations in temperature in the early Big Bang. Accordingly, the outward (almost impulsive) burst would have, proportionally, a rather closely uniform intensity over the whole outward-moving sphere, in this material. This sphere is seen as a circle from our present vantage point, as it intersects our past light cone …”
The physicists compare the energetic effect to what happens when a supernova burst encounters a cloud of gas.
“As viewed from the perspective of our present location in space-time, the most immediately distinctive effect on the CMB of this energy burst would be a circular (or annular) region, perhaps slightly distorted, over which the temperature variance would be anomalously low.”
The authors also emphasize that, if CCC is correct, then such events “ought to repeat themselves several times…”, noting also that the center of each circle is located “at almost exactly the same point in the CMB sky.”
This is entirely expected given the great likelihood that a super massive black-hole would experience multiple collisions with other black-holes in the long history of a cosmic aeon. Further, there is also a likelihood that another such super massive black-hole might be lurking within the same galactic cluster.
“If it [the super massive black-hole] remains bound in its remote future, [it] would converge on a single point of the I [note: I = the point of infinity] of the previous aeon, in the CCC picture, and this would appear as a single point in our CMB sky. That point, therefore, would be the centre of a family of concentric circles of anomalously low variance in its CMB temperature, with fairly randomly different radii.” It should be noted also that this ‘I’ represents the “conformal continuation” — the remote future — of the previous aeon, which also coincides with the Big Bang of the next (our) aeon.
The same approximate convergence would occur, the physicists claim, even if the putative galactic cluster (and the super massive black-holes within them) broke up into smaller, but still gravitational bound, fragments. All such scenarios and outcomes would still conform to this concentric circle pattern (hence the name Conformal Cyclic Cosmology).
A religious type person might see this consistent pattern as the ‘hand of god’ (or perhaps ‘god’s bulls-eye’), but they are, according to the physicists, “implicit in the claimed predictions of CCC… and the existence or otherwise of such concentric rings represents a powerful observational test of CCC.”
As the ancient sage has said: “God ever geometrizes”.
The Penrose and Gurzadyan paper: Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity
* Cosmic acceleration seems to have ‘kicked in’ about 9 billion years ago (almost 5 G years after the Bang, based upon observations of type 1A supernovas), which may have been the result of another cosmos (“brane”) making contact (“bouncing”) with ours (see Steinhardt and Turok)
** “This [result] is confirmed when the same analysis is applied to BOOMERanG98 data, eliminating the possibility of an instrumental cause for the effects. ” (quote source: published paper)
Top Image: Dark circles indicate regions in space where the cosmic microwave background has temperature variations that are lower than average. The features hint that the universe was born long before the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago and had undergone myriad cycles of birth and death before that time (source: arXiv/V.G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose).
Diagrams: source: arXiv/V.G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose