Roger Penrose, “The Cyclic Universe” (Open Agenda, 2021)


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In the last twenty years, cosmology has unexpectedly emerged as one of the most exciting and dynamic fields of modern science. From astoundingly precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background to the ongoing mysteries of dark energy and dark matter, modern cosmology is unquestionably in the midst of its Golden Age. And yet, one of the most eminent mathematical physicists of our age, Roger Penrose is convinced that there is one fundamental problem that is consistently being overlooked: why did our universe begin in such a particular state of extremely low entropy? His Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC) is an attempt to directly address that question. The Cyclic Universe is based on an extensive conversation between Howard Burton and Roger Penrose, co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, and explores his motivation to come up with this theory in the first place and provides detailed insights into his groundbreaking research and Conformal Cyclic Cosmology.

Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at

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