A physicist at the University of Campinas, São Paulo, has a theory about black holes which suggests the Big bang might not have kick-started the universe.
According to Science Alert, Juliano César Silva Neves rejects the idea that the universe as we know it began with a 'Big Bang'.
The 'Big Bang' theory reasons that the universe began with a singularity (an infinitely dense volume of energy) and then expanded out, and continued expanding, into the universe we know today.
Neves instead has suggested the theory of a collapse and expansion process, known as the 'Big Bounce' theory.
His theory, published in the journal General Relativity and Gravitation, also looks at how 'regular' black holes work.
Singularity and the 'Big Bounce'
The term 'singularity' crops up a great deal in sci-fi, often used to describe the centre of a black hole.
According to ScienceAlert they are impossible in nature, but the idea that there was once an infinitely dense volume from which the universe came to be is a necessary part of the methodology used for measuring the universe's expansion over time.
Neves' theory is that the universe did not begin with a singularity that went bang.
There are two kinds of singularity in the Universe. One is the alleged cosmological singularity, or Big Bang. The other hides behind the event horizon of a black hole.
He argues that not all black holes have a singularity.
In order to measure the rate at which the Universe is expanding with the standard cosmology, the model in which there’s a Big Bang, a mathematical function is used that depends only on cosmological time.
Eliminating the singularity or Big Bang brings back the bouncing universe on to the theoretical stage of cosmology.
He argues that if the singularity did not exist at the beginning, it means a 'Big Bounce' is more plausible.
The absence of a singularity at the start of spacetime opens up the possibility that vestiges of a previous contraction phase may have withstood the phase change and may still be with us in the ongoing expansion of the Universe.
For Neves, the fast spacetime expansion stage does not exclude the possibility of a prior contraction phase.
It could mean that the switch from contraction to expansion may not have destroyed all traces of the preceding phase.
Bits of the universe(s) that came before could still be left over.