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Roger Penrose

Cycles of time

What happened before the big bang? The idea of cyclic universes has a long history, but didn't seem to fit with what we know about the universe. Now, in Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe Roger Penrose explains a new idea of how the end of one universe could be the start of another.

The big bang was a time of low entropy, when things happened quickly and energy was highly concentrated. The heat death of the universe seems to be very different - high entropy, things happening very slowly, and energy becoming ever more dilute. However, the distribution of energy is very smooth for both, and Penrose points out that as the universe winds down there will be no rulers or clocks, or anyone to do the measuring. If we allow the universe to 'lose track of time' then the heat death of one universe can become the big bang of another. There's the problem of the entropy difference, but Penrose devotes a substantial part of the book discussing thermodynamics, and showing how his ideas on black holes and quantum state reduction can avoid the entropy discrepancy.

The book is aimed at a popular science readership, but I would say that it is too technical for beginners. If you've read a few books on similar subjects then you'll be better placed to appreciate the inriguing ideas presented in this book.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 320 pages  
ISBN: 0224080369
Salesrank: 3297916
Weight:1.37 lbs
Published: 2010 Bodley Head
Marketplace:New from $22.00:Used from $2.62
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 304 pages  
ISBN: 0224080369
Salesrank: 554683
Weight:1.37 lbs
Published: 2010 Bodley Head
Marketplace:New from £41.86:Used from £1.19
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 320 pages  
ISBN: 0224080369
Salesrank: 426423
Weight:1.37 lbs
Published: 2010 Bodley Head
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 76.33:Used from CDN$ 6.99
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Product Description
One of our most distinguished scientists offers a radical new theory of the origin, and ultimate end, of the Universe.

Professor Sir Roger Penrose's groundbreaking and bestselling The Road to Reality provided a complete guide to the laws that govern our universe. In Cycles of Time, Penrose offers a completely new perspective on the often-asked question, 'what came before the Big Bang?' The answer that Penrose proposes involves a curious but fully rational way of looking at the expected ultimate fate of our acclerating expanded universe, and showing that its end can in fact be reinterpreted as the 'Big Bang' of a new universe.