Internationally renowned physicist Sir Roger Penrose, whose scientific influence ranks with Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, told a packed house at USF that he believes the leading explanation for how the universe was created is wrong.
Best known for proving the existence of black holes in 1965, Penrose challenged recent claims that scientists at the California Institute of Technology have discovered proof for Cosmic Inflation, the rapid expansion of the universe after the Big Bang. Penrose has called that theory pure fantasy, and believes instead that the universe is a series of eons situated end-to-end that extend infinitely into the past and into the future.
Just days before his visit, Penrose discussed the two competing theories on National Public Radio’s “Science Friday” program and also promoted his lecture at USF.
“Imagine if you could go back 300 years and hear a lecture by Sir Isaac Newton—would you pass that up?” asked USF math Professor Tristan Needham, who called the lecture an incredible opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading thinkers. Needham studied under Penrose at Oxford University and arranged the public lecture.