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Big Bounce

July 27, 2006

Scientists have a new hypothesis about what might have come before the Big Bang.


Was the Big Bang a Big Bounce? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

For decades, the story of our expanding universe has begun with the Big Bang. Now, Penn State University researchers have created a new model of the Bang that’s more like a Big Bounce: a turning point where an earlier universe stopped contracting and started expanding again. Physicist Abhay Ashtekar says they got there by applying the principles of quantum physics to the extremely dense, Big Bang-era universe.

ABHAY ASHKETAR (Penn State University):
And they tell us that at these high densities, new effects associated with the quantum nature of geometry itself come into [the] picture, and they actually make gravity repulsive.

As a result, a universe that had been shrinking up to that point would suddenly start expanding again.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.