Within closed universe models there exists the possibility that a final Big Crunch may not be the end of the universe. It has been speculated that perhaps some mechanism exists at such infinite density that would trigger another Big Bang. Hence the Big Crunch really becomes the "Big Bounce," with the universe recycling itself for infinity. Also known as an oscillating or reprocessing universe, this idea has ancient parallels, both in the Hindu Vedas and in ancient Greece, and was even taken up by the early Christian theologian Origen (185–254 c.e.). The mechanism of a cyclical universe is considered beyond the reach of human understanding, however, because the laws of physics break down at the space-time singularity of the rebound. For this reason, and perhaps also due to a certain philosophical prejudice against the notion of a cyclical universe, the idea has never been popular in modern scientific cosmology.
See also Big Bang Theory; Big Crunch Theory; Cosmology, Physical Aspects; Cosmology, Religious and Philosophical Aspects; Singularity
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