Scientists claim that evidence for past universes may exist in the night sky, specifically the remnants of black holes from another universe.
According to New Scientist, the concept is based on conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC). This is the theory that our Universe, rather than beginning with a single Big Bang, goes through constant cycles of Big Bangs and compressions.
While the vast majority of the universe would be destroyed from one cycle to the next, these researchers believe that some electromagnetic radiation could survive the recycling process. Their findings have been published on arXiv.
“What we claim we’re seeing is the final remnant after a black hole has evaporated away in the previous aeon,” University of Oxford mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, co-author on the study and co-creator of CCC theory, told New Scientist.
The evidence comes in the form of “Hawking points,” named after the late Stephen Hawking. He hypothesized that black holes would emit Hawking radiation, which Penrose and his colleagues believe could travel from one universe to the next.
They say that Hawking points could appear in the remnant heat in the universe from the Big Bang, known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). On the CMB map, hawking points would appear as circles of light known as B-modes.
“Though seemingly problematic for cosmic inflation, the existence of such anomalous points is an implication of conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC),” the team wrote in their paper.
“Although of extremely low temperature at emission, in CCC this radiation is enormously concentrated by the conformal compression of the entire future of the black hole, resulting in a single point at the crossover into our current aeon.”
The recycling universe theory is not without controversy. The majority of our evidence suggests that the universe’s expansion is accelerating, with the universe not being dense enough to compress back into a single point and expand again – a theory known as the Big Bounce.
We have yet to discover any evidence of Hawking radiation, let alone Hawking points. So, while this is an intriguing theory, there is still a lot of work to be done before anyone claims the definitive existence of a previous universe.