Charting the evolution of the Universe – with Brian Keating

Did the Universe begin with a Big Bang? And if not, how did it come to be? Join renowned cosmologist Brian Keating and explore the evolution of the Universe in this demo-packed lecture.


Did the Universe begin with a Big Bang? And if not, how did it come to be? Join renowned cosmologist Brian Keating and explore the evolution of the Universe in this demo-packed lecture.

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Watch the Q&A here:

This Discourse was recorded at the Ri on 29 June 2023. Discourses are one of the Ri’s oldest and most prestigious series of talks - find out more about them here:…

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00:00 Introduction
2:02 Early models of the universe’s origin
4:40 Newton and Einstein’s models of the universe
07:38 Lemaitre’s Big Bang
10:12 The four pillars of the Big Bang Theory
12:39 What’s the problem with the Big Bang theory?
16:06 Discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation
19:54 Alternatives to the singular Big Bang
24:41 The inflationary multiverse theory
33:09 The double slit experiment
36:10 Disproving other theories with polarisation
42:41 B-mode polarisation – the decisive experiment
49:28 Losing the Nobel Prize due to meteorites
51:08 The Simons Observatory and the next experiment
54:44 Problems with the multiverse theory
57:40 Michael Faraday and experimental science

Unravelling the mysteries and origins of the Universe remains one of the biggest questions in physics. Drawing upon decades of research and observation, the scientific consensus based on current evidence supports the theory of a single Big Bang event that led to the formation of the universe as we observe it today.

While alternative evolutionary models such as bouncing and cyclic universes are undoubtedly intriguing, they lack the observational support and experimental validation that the Big Bang theory enjoys.

From the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, to the large-scale structure of the universe, to the relative abundance of light elements, the Big Bang theory remains unquestioned.

But new areas of research continue to develop, such as the study of dust and its contribution to astrophysical research, facilitating further understanding of the early universe and its evolution. As a leading expert in the field, Brian effortlessly navigates through the complex and fascinating science behind our universe and its conception.

Brian Keating is a Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of physics at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences (CASS) in the Department of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. He is a public speaker, inventor, and an expert in the study of the universe’s oldest light, the cosmic microwave background (CMB), using it to learn about the origin and evolution of the universe. Keating is a writer and podcaster and the best-selling author of one of Amazon Editors’ ‘Best Non-fiction Books of All Time', Losing the Nobel Prize. Visit his website here: and follow him on Twitter at
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