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Science
FRONTIERS
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Wednesday 21:00-21:30
Frontiers explores new ideas in science, meeting the researchers who see the world through fresh eyes and challenge existing theories - as well as hearing from their critics. Many such developments create new ethical and moral questions and Frontiers is not afraid to consider these.
radioscience@bbc.co.uk
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Listen to 5th May
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Wednesday 5th May 2004
The Universe seen in Infrared
The Universe in Infrared, taken by the COBE satellite, courtesy of NASA.

Before the Big Bang

This week, Frontiers explores a new cosmological theory teetering on the very edge of science and encroaching on the territory we normally associate with philosophy, metaphysics, even religion.

Peter Evans look at a new narrative about the birth of the cosmos that breaks with the conventional description and harks back to an idea that was popular amongst the Ancients.

A Cyclical Universe

The hypothesis, put forward by Neil Turok of Cambridge and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton is that the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning of time and space but merely a cataclysmic event – one of perhaps millions – that takes place from time to time in our universe.

Each big bang signifies a new universe expanding all over again and the whole thing is driven by physics of an invisible 5th dimension in which time doesn’t begin and never ends.

Sounds like fiction, but Turok and Steinhardt believe that a satellite experiment could soon prove them right.
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