Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe (Hardcover)

An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

By Roger Penrose

Alfred A. Knopf, 9780307265906, 288pp.

Publication Date: May 3, 2011



From the best-selling author of The Emperor's New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology's most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

Current understanding of our universe dictates that all matter will eventually thin out to zero density, with huge black holes finally evaporating away into massless energy. Roger Penrose--one of the most innovative mathematicians of our time--turns around this predominant picture of the universe's "heat death," arguing how the expected ultimate fate of our accelerating, expanding universe can actually be reinterpreted as the "Big Bang" of a new one.

Along the way to this remarkable cosmological picture, Penrose sheds new light on basic principles that underlie the behavior of our universe, describing various standard and nonstandard cosmological models, the fundamental role of the cosmic microwave background, and the key status of black holes. Ideal for both the amateur astronomer and the advanced physicist--with plenty of exciting insights for each--Cycles of Time is certain to provoke and challenge.

Intellectually thrilling and accessible, this is another essential guide to the universe from one of our preeminent thinkers.

About the Author

Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has received numerous prizes and awards, most notably the Wolf Foundation Prize in physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking. He is the author of three previous books, including The Emperor's New Mind. He lives in Oxford, England.

Praise For Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

“The hyper-density of this book made my brain feel simultaneously wiped out and dazzled.”
            -Boston Globe Best Science Books of 2011
“Radical . . .  A surprising and unorthodox work disguised in the jacket of a popular science book, Cycles of Time should prove both deeply enlightening and just as deeply mystifying for anyone who dares to follow along.”
            -Peter Woit, The Wall Street Journal
“An intellectual thrill ride . . . As Penrose builds a solid foundation for his argument in analyzing universal entropic accumulation and Newton’s Second Law, the reader senses something tremendous looming—mysterious and compelling as a black hole . . . A cosmological page-turner.”
            -Y. S. Fing, Washington Independent Review of Books
“If you’ll forgive a skiing metaphor, Cycles of Time is a black diamond of a book. But like all steep slopes, sometimes you take a moment from your struggles and look up, and in front of you is an utterly gorgeous view.”
            -Anthony Doerr, Boston Globe
“Profound . . . This fascinating book will surely become a classic in the history of cosmology.”
“Controversial but intriguing . . . Well worth the effort.”
“Intriguing . . . Penrose makes provocative arguments for his challenging new theory.”                  
           -Publishers Weekly