- Roger Penrose, the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in physics, claims the universe goes through cycles of death and rebirth.
- According to the scientist, there have been multiple Big Bangs, with more coming.
- Penrose claims that black holes hold clues to the existence of previous universes.
Sir Roger Penrose, a mathematician and physicist from the University of Oxford, who has just shared this year’s Nobel Prize in physics, claims the our universe has gone through multiple Big Bangs, with another one coming in our future.
Penrose received the Nobel for his working out mathematical methods that proved and expanded Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity and for his discoveries on black holes, which showed how objects that become too dense undergo gravitational collapse into singularities – points of infinite mass.
As he accepted the Prize, Penrose reiterated his belief in what he called “a crazy theory of mine” that the universe will expand until all matter will ultimately decay. And then a new Big Bang will bring a new universe into existence.
“The Big Bang was not the beginning,” Penrose said in an interview with The Telegraph. “There was something before the Big Bang and that something is what we will have in our future.”
What proof does the physicist have for this theory he dubbed “conformal cyclic cosmology” (CCC) that goes against the current Big Bang dogma? He said he discovered six “warm” sky points (called “Hawking Points”) which are all about eight times larger than the diameter of the Moon. The late Professor Stephen Hawking, whose name they bear, proposed that black holes “leak” radiation and would eventually evaporate. As this might take longer than the age of the universe we are currently inhabiting (13.77 billion), spotting such holes is very unlikely.
Penrose (89), who collaborated with Hawking, thinks that we are, in fact, able to observe “dead” black holes left by previous universes or “aeons”. If proven correct, this would also validate Hawking’s theories.
The physicist’s 2020 paper, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, offers evidence of “anomalous circular spots” in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) that have raised temperatures. The data revealing the spots came from Planck 70 GHz satellite and was confirmed by up to 10,000 simulations.
Hot spots in Planck CMB data.
Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration
Penrose’s 2018 paper pinpointed radiation hot spots in the CMB as possibly being produced by evaporating black holes. A 2010 paper by Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia found support for cyclic cosmology in the uniform temperature rings within the CMB. The scientists proposed then that the rings were caused by signatures of gravitational waves from colliding black holes in a universe that preceded ours.
These ideas are controversial within the cosmologist community, with some pointing to the difficulty of conforming an infinitely big universe in one aeon to a super-small one in the next. This would necessitate making all particles lose mass as the universe gets old.
For another fascinating Penrose theory, check out his views on the quantum-level origins of our consciousness.
Roger Penrose – Did the Universe Begin?
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This red light means 'go' for medical discoveries – Phys.org
With a little tweak of the color palette, University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have made it easier for scientists to understand biological processes, track happenings inside individual cells, unravel the mysteries of disease and develop new treatments.
UVA’s Hui-wang Ai, Ph.D., and Shen Zhang, Ph.D., have developed a simple and effective improvement to fluorescent ‘biosensors’ widely used in scientific and medical research. The biosensors detect specific targets inside cells and sets them aglow, so that scientists can monitor and quantify biological events they otherwise could not.
Most fluorescent protein biosensors give a green or yellow glow, but Ai and Zhang have discovered a way to shift the green to red. This comes with big benefits, including making it easier for scientists to monitor multiple targets at a time and to peer more deeply into tissues.
“This innovative method can convert not only existing biosensors, but also any green biosensors developed in the future,” Ai said. “Multicolor and/or multiplexed imaging with fluorescent biosensors cells will thus become widely accessible.”
Lighting the Way
While there are existing red biosensors, they are typically outperformed by their green counterparts. So scientists have been eager to find ways to shift the green color into red, retaining the benefits of the green sensors while adding new ones, such as reducing the visual confusion that can be caused by the natural fluorescence of tissues and cells.
Ai and Zhang found a solution partly by a stroke of luck—or “serendipity,” as they describe it in a new scientific paper. In the course of their regular lab work, they found that adding a particular amino acid, 3-aminotyrosine, to the green biosensor made it turn red. This is simple to do and quite effective, they report. The red version preserved the brightness, dynamic range and responsiveness of the green sensor, while offering the additional benefits of a red one.
“We modified a panel of green biosensors for metal ions, neurotransmitters and cell metabolites,” Zhang said. “Spontaneous and efficient green-to-red conversion was observed for all tested biosensors, and little optimization on individual sensors was needed.”
The researchers tested their improved biosensor on cells that make insulin in the pancreas. They were able to monitor the effect of high levels of glucose on the cells, gaining new insights and giving the researchers new directions to explore.
They hope their quick-and-easy sensor upgrade will offer similar benefits to many other scientists and lines of scientific research.
“It will have lots of applications,” Ai said, “such as acceleration of our understanding of how pancreas controls insulin secretion or how neuronal activity patterns in the brain correlate with complex behavior.”
Shen Zhang et al, A general strategy to red-shift green fluorescent protein-based biosensors, Nature Chemical Biology (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41589-020-0641-7
University of Virginia
This red light means ‘go’ for medical discoveries (2020, October 20)
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Asteroid On Track To Buzz Earth The Day Before The Presidential Election – HuffPost
An asteroid hurtling close to Earth is on course to buzz the globe the day before the U.S. presidential election.
According to calculations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the refrigerator-sized space boulder has only a minuscule chance (.41%) of entering Earth’s atmosphere and is likely to be a relatively comfortable — but very close in space terms — 4,776 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the center of the Earth when it makes its flyby.
“So if the world ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the universe,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said on Instagram Monday:
Asteroid 2018VP1 is hurtling through space at some 25,000 miles per hour. It was discovered two years ago when it was some 280,000 miles away.
If the asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it would quickly disintegrate because of its small size, per NASA Asteroid Watch. And if that happens, its fiery fall would provide a great light show potentially visible from Earth.
Starlink's BITS licence approved, still needs spectrum to operate in Canada – Cartt.ca
Service launch not coming soon… GATINEAU — The CRTC has approved an application by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for a Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) licence to provide telecom services via SpaceX’s Starlink low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. The Commission said in a letter dated October 15 and addressed to SpaceX’s chief financial officer, Bret Johnsen, it received 2,585 interventions regarding the licence application, and after considering the submitted comments, it is approving the application and issuing a BITS licence to SpaceX. Getting a BITS licence is not exactly the highest hurdle there is to clear (most are approved…
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