Astronomy Paper

Topics: Big Bang, Universe, General relativity Pages: 4 (1113 words) Published: December 6, 2014
A Cyclic Universe:
A New Model to Rival the Big Bang Theory

Phys 1070- Astronomy
Topical Essay

Motivated by the M-theory, space-time ‘branes’ and extra-dimensions, scientists Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok introduce a tantalizing alternative to the prevailing standard Big Bang-Inflation model of cosmology. Traditionally, the Big Bang-Inflation model features an explosive epoch 15 billion years ago when time and space sprung into existence followed by a fraction of a second of superluminal expansion. Lacking adequate competition, the popular prototype has dominated the metaphysics front for the past two decades even though much of its complications have been left unresolved. With the advent progress in cosmic microwave background detection, these unsettled loopholes are begging for answers. A successful model that seeks to replace the Big Bang notion must be ready to explain the past, present and future states of the universe in an efficient and unified manner. The Cyclic Model has just the ambition to tackle the callings of this brave new world.

The Cyclic Model offers a viable mechanism for explaining the observed cosmological phenomenon by building on the notion that the universe undergoes an endless cycle of collapse and rebirth where space and time exist forever. Consistent and inspired by superstring theories, the Cyclic Universe comprise of two parallel, 4dimensional space-time branes, separated by a finite distance in a larger fifth dimension bulk. On only one of these brane is all the constituents of our familiar universe. The other can be regarded as a parallel universe. These two realms are free to move along the extra spatial dimension so they may approach and collide with each other. (Figure 1 on page 4 offers a “2-D” visual representation; some imagination is required J) Each cycle begins with a “bang” where the branes bounces from an instantaneous collision of the two branes. Collision is partially inelastic; hence energy is expended...

References: MacRobert, Alan M. “A Cyclic Universe?” Sky & Telescope. Sky Publishing Corp.
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Papers from Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok: http://wwwphy.princeton.edu/~steinh/
Steinhardt, Paul J. and Turok, Neil. The Cyclic Model Simplified. April 2004.
Steinhardt, Paul J. and Turok, Neil. A Cyclic Model of the Universe. May, 2002.
Steinhardt, Paul J. and Turok, Neil. The Cyclic Universe: An Informal Introduction.
April 2002
Steinhardt, Paul J. The Endless Universe: A Brief Introduction to the Cyclic Universe.
5
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