“What happened before the Big Bang?”

“What existed before the Big Bang?” A look beyond the general theory of relativity to what happened before the beginning of all things: loop quantum gravity cosmology.

October 22, 2008

English-language lecture by Dr. Martin Bojowald, of Pennsylvania State University, on Thursday, 13 November 2008 at 6:00 pm in the Einstein Hall of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jägerstr. 22/23, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Einstein's general theory of relativity allows us to develop answers to the most fundamental questions about space and time or the structure of our universe. However, if one wants to know what existed before the Big Bang, this theory will not take one any further for the reason that time – which stands at the very centre of general relativity – only came into being the moment when the Big Bang occurred.

So what was there before the Big Bang? In his lecture Martin Bojowald will discuss the methods scientists are now using to approach this question and the knowledge that they have already gained.

Martin Bojowald

Is one of the leading scientists concerned with the effects of loop quantum gravity on cosmology. The young German physicist is currently working at the renowned Institute of Gravitation and the Cosmos at Pennsylvania State University in the USA. He received first prize in the Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition in 2003 and was honoured with the prestigious Xanthopoulos Award in 2007. The award is granted every three years by the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation for the best research results achieved by young scientists under 40 years of age.

The lecture will take place at the invitation of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Living Reviews in Relativity.

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