Roger Penrose - Why Did Our Universe Begin?

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  • ℹ️ Published 2 years ago
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That the universe began seems astonishing. What brought it about? What forces were involved? How did the laws of nature generate the vast expanse of billions of galaxies of billions of stars and planets in the structures that we see today? What new physics was involved? What more must we learn?



Sir Roger Penrose is an mathematical physicist, mathematician, philosopher of science and Nobel Laureate in Physics. He is the Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, as well as an Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College.


Closer to Truth presents the world’s greatest thinkers exploring humanity’s deepest questions. Discover fundamental issues of existence. Engage new and diverse ways of thinking. Appreciate intense debates. Share your own opinions. Seek your own answers.

Congratulations to Sir Roger Penrose for winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics.

💬 Comments
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Our sincere congratulations to Sir Roger Penrose for winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics! Well deserved!

Author — Closer To Truth

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Dear CTT, thank you for your effort to bring in such a distinguished guest as Dr. Penrose. Also thank you for taking advantage of his wisdom on such an interesting and fun topic. Your channel and its contents are a precious contribution to public science education that helps us humans to become better species. Warm regards from a subscriber.

Author — Athenian Heretic 339

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This explanation has allowed me to recall an experience I used to have when falling asleep as a child. A great sense of what can only be described as ‘bigness’ and ‘smallness’ that would almost hurt my brain, I’d often be pondering questions about the nature of the universe and get myself quite worked up. It felt like a massive metal ball growing and then suddenly implode to the size of a pin prick. There’s a lot of people that explain the same experience defined as ‘Alice in Wonderland Syndrome’. I find this explanation about what came before the Big Bang very interesting, maybe there’s something innate in us that knows the answer.

Author — Joshua Ford

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I love it when Roger Penrose says "you see" he genuinely wants us to see as he does.

Author — Sam Ty

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Many congratulations to Sir Roger Penrose for his long lived and brilliant career, working with Stephen Hawking and many others. His copious Mathematical Works have enriched the World over the last 70 years.

Author — David Farrall

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Congratulations to Dr. Penrose.
His Nobel Prize had been a long time coming.

Author — Riju Chaudhuri

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I used to have similar thoughts in my physics class and my readings .. I found M.C. Escher through a documentary of his life and before I went "woah, this could help with our understanding of the universe" .. the narrator goes on to say that his art has helped mathematicians a lot and in this regard, he is considered not only as an artist but also a mathematician.

I should have been a theoretical physicist. Now, I'm a delivery man instead.

Author — Michael Travler

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I've heard or read about Roger Penrose and his work countless times over the years, but I honestly think this is the first time I've ever seen him on screen. He seems to be an amazingly good communicator so I don't know why we don't see more of him. Brilliant man.

Author — PharmaGiles

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Very well deserved win of Noble Prize 2020, Dr. Penrose is one the the few physicists who contemplates on "consciousness" in a proper manner.

Author — Manonsilvermountain

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What this guy is speaking speaks volumes! I like how he’s not locked into a position and how he has the ability to evolve! My personal opinion is like 80% of the population I really don’t know in the back of my mind how all this came into existence but I do know it’s a lot of fun learning. Put your seat belts on my friends because this man is from another intellectual planet! Lol

Author — Judd Bourne

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A wonderful idea. Time is simply a brief anomaly between the beginning and the end, both being the same thing. I don't think it's sensible to think of "before" and "after" when they're inextricably bound to one another for their existence like light and shadow.

Author — Per S

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I think he's totally right about conformal geometry. It's the only thing that actually makes sense.

Author — Lolleka

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What an amazing man. It had never really occurred to me before that complete uniformity in the universe, i.e. no temperature difference between any two points, even if the total energy is immense, means nothing interesting can actually happen. I suppose this is why the tiny fluctuations found in the cosmic background radiation are so important.

Author — PharmaGiles

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With these Closer to Truth repeats, it's important to date-stamp the interviews. Science continually moves on, new discoveries, inventions, milestones - so knowing exactly WHEN these interviews were conducted is crucial. I'd guess that this is from Season 8 (2011), show entitled "Does the Cosmos Provide Meaning?". Roger Penrose's last (of six) appearances on Closer to Truth.

Author — Michael Dembinski

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Glad to discover Roger Penrose! He is able to explain very complex science to lay people like me. His theory makes beautiful sense to me, and answers some important questions, such as what happened before the Big Bang. I was thinking these gravitational ripples could even contain information that could be passed to the next universe. The theory reminds me of Hindu creation concepts and some of Buddhism/ Taoism as well. Absolutely awe inspiring.

Author — The Wise Outlaw

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Every time he says “you see” I really wish I could see it. 🤣 I understand these ideas almost like it’s all part of a dream and I just woke up and the more I try to remember the dream the more it evaporates.

Author — Katie Leporte

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This is remarkably consistent with the universe as described by Walter Russell 100 years ago. A still universe (ie no mass) forgets how small or large or old or young it is - ie. is inherently dimensionless. Observable phenomena give rise to dimensions (all of which are relative to the observer). -- I love listening to brilliant physicists when they make a genuine effort to share lofty ideas in a way that is comprehensible to ordinary people. This video is a gem, but the title is misleading. Penrose doesn't talk about "why" the universe exists. To say that there may have existed a universe before the big bang that in a sense gave birth to this one says nothing about "why". I don't know of any physicists that have attempted to explain "why". The closest example I can think of is Walter Russell, who was technically not a scientist in the conventional sense. The question is worth exploring, but if we're honest, it cannot be answered through observation, experimentation or the application of pure mathematics. To shed any light on this, by definition, requires the contribution of an intuitive or a mystic. When such a rare individual comes along we tend to go to great lengths to discredit the insight because we don't think of it as real science.

Author — Michael Hey

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It’s so beautiful that you feel the truth emanating out of this concept much like a gravitational wave.

Author — eryk Sylvan

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I think he should have tied conformal geometry back in towards the end just to reiterate that he's saying size is a relative thing, and the fact we're already so much bigger than the plank scales in our current universe means we may have already gone through a huge number of these cycles of upscaling already. Interesting idea.

Author — travsb1984

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Congratulations to Sir Rogen Penrose for winning the Nobel Prize !

Author — TheConsciousCat