“When Everything Travels at the Speed of Light” –Roger Penrose’s Weird Universe


In Cycles of Time: An extraordinary new view of the universe writes that according to the standard view, dark energy will lead the universe into an eternal accelerating expansion. Every bit of matter will eventually lose contact with every other bit. "It all just seemed unbelievably boring to me," Penrose says.

But at the very end of the universe, Penrose found his pot on non-boring gold: the only remaining particles will be massless. That means everything that exists will travel at the speed of light, making the flow of time meaningless. After a few mathematical manipulations of infinity, out popped a never-ending universe, where new big bangs are the inevitable result of a universe's demise.

In Penrose's theory, one cosmos leads to another. "I used to call it a crazy scheme, but I'm starting to believe it now," he says.

Image at the top of page is a reconstruction of the dark matter distribution in the COSMOS field
from data from Hubble and other telescopes. The Cosmic Evolution Survey, or COSMOS, is the largest galaxy survey ever conducted with NASA's orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.Credit: NASA; ESA; P. Simon/U. of Bonn; T. Schrabback/Leiden Observatory


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