About the Lecture
Sir Roger Penrose standing in front of Varini's "Square with four circles" in New Haven. Photo by Jack Harris

Sir Roger Penrose standing in front of Varini's "Square with four circles" in New Haven. Photo by Jack Harris

THE BIG BANG, the beginning of our universe.The one universe. But is this the whole story? Professor Sir Roger Penrose brings us fascinating new insights and possibilities – and that the universe we live in could be just one of an infinite succession of universes. "Before the Beginning and Beyond Eternity" is an illustrated lecture on a recent cosmological theory, conformal cyclic cosmology, which suggests that our current perception of the history of our universe is merely one phase (an “aeon”) of an infinite succession of similar aeons.

SITE PROJECTS in partnership with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Franke Program for Science and the Humanities and the Yale Department of Physics presented a free lecture by internationally renowned physicist Sir Roger Penrose. Site Projects' Executive Director, Laura Weir Clarke, saw Penrose speak at Oxford in March. Of Penrose Clarke says: "We are convinced that the artistic links to his work are rich with potential for public art. The Penrose aperiodic tiling patterns can be seen at the newly-opened Oxford University Math Building designed by Rafael Vignoly. The entrance terrace that has 2 of the rhomboidal patterns laid over one another which are very beautiful. A viewer need not understand the complex geometry and rules of placement in order to enjoy the mysterious and elusive quality of the patterns."

SIR ROGER PENROSE is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the Universe. He is an internationally renowned author of many books on mathematical physics that contribute in particular to general relativity and cosmology. His latest book is called “Cycles of Time: an Extraordinary New View of the Universe” (Bodley Head, London, 2010).

“We are convinced that the artistic links to his work are rich with potential for public art.”
— Laura Weir Clarke, Site Projects' Executive Director
About the Professor

Sir Roger Penrose,  (born August 8, 1931, ColchesterEssexEngland), British mathematician and relativist who in the 1960s calculated many of the basic features of black holes.

After obtaining a Ph.D. in algebraic geometry from the University of Cambridgein 1957, Penrose held temporary posts at a number of universities in both England and the United States. From 1964 to 1973 he served as reader and eventually professor of applied mathematics at Birkbeck College, London. From 1973 he held the Rouse-Ball Chair of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He was knighted for his services to science in 1994.

In 1969, with Stephen Hawking, Penrose proved that all matter within a black hole collapses to a singularity, a geometric point in space where mass is compressed to infinite density and zero volume. Penrose also developed a method of mapping the regions of space-time surrounding a black hole. (Space-time is a four-dimensional continuum comprising three dimensions of space and one of time.) Such a map, which is called a Penrose diagram, allows one to visualize the effects of gravitation upon an entity approaching a black hole. He also discovered Penrose tiling, in which a set of shapes can be used to cover a plane without using a repeating pattern.

Penrose became interested in the problem of defining consciousness and wrote two books in which he argued that quantum mechanics is needed to explain the conscious mind—The Emperor’s New Mind(1989) and Shadows of the Mind (1994). He also wrote The Road to Reality (2004), an extensive overview of mathematics and physics. In Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe(2010), Penrose posited his theory of conformal cyclic cosmology, formulating the Big Bang as an endlessly recurring event.

via Encyclopedia Britannica