Cosmology and the Big Bust

Sat 1 October
10:30am BST
Venue: Arena
Event [5]

Debates and talks

Cosmology and the Big Bust

Julian Barbour, Eric Lerner, Claudia Maraston. Jess Wade hosts.

The Big Bang theory crucially depends on the 'inflation' hypothesis that at the outset the universe expanded many orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light. But experiments have failed to prove evidence of cosmic inflation and since the theory's inception it has been beset by deep puzzles. Now one of its founders, Paul Steinhardt has denounced the theory as mistaken and 'scientifically meaningless'.

Do we have to give up the theory of cosmic inflation and seek a radical alternative? Might alternative theories like the Big Bounce, or abandoning the speed of light provide a solution? Or are such alternatives merely sticking plasters to avoid the more radical conclusion that it is time to give up on the Big Bang altogether?

The Big Bang Never Happened author, Eric Lerner, astrophysicist Claudia Maraston, and physicist and author The End of Time Julian Barbour argue their cases.

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