An earlier universe
WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropies in the cosmic background radiation
In 2010, Penrose reported possible evidence, based on concentric circles found in WMAP data of the CMB sky, of an earlier universe existing before the Big Bang of our own present universe. He mentions this evidence in the epilogue of his 2010 book Cycles of Time, a book in which he presents his reasons, to do with Einstein's field equations, the Weyl curvature C, and the Weyl curvature hypothesis, that the transition at the Big Bang could have been smooth enough for a previous universe to survive it. He made several conjectures about C and the WCH, some of which were subsequently proved by others, and the smoothness is real, and where he also popularized his conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) theory.
In simple terms, he believes that the singularity in Einstein's field equation at the Big Bang is only an apparent singularity, similar to the well-known apparent singularity at the event horizon of a black hole. The latter singularity can be removed by a change of coordinate system, and Penrose proposes a different change of coordinate system that will remove the singularity at the big bang. One implication of this is that the major events at the Big Bang can be understood without unifying general relativity and quantum mechanics, and therefore we are not necessarily constrained by the Wheeler–DeWitt equation, which disrupts time. Alternatively, one can use the Einstein–Maxwell–Dirac equations.
Physics and consciousness