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Brian Cox on Australia's scientific duties

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 Danielle McGrane

Australia has some major scientific responsibilities as far as British physicist Brian Cox is concerned.

Professor Cox, who fronts BBC TV shows Wonders of Life and Forces of Nature, said that the country is currently at the forefront of discovering what happened before the creation of the universe, or before the Big Bang.

"In science, just before I was born in the mid `60s, people were still debating about whether there was a Big Bang or not, the evidence for the origin of the universe was not really there," Cox told AAP in Sydney.

"Now we're making precision measurements of that and those precision measurements are telling us how structures form in the universe like stars and galaxies."

One of the main projects attempting to answer those questions is the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - a large multi radio telescope project in which Australia is a major player.

"Most of the telescopes are going to be here in Australia and that's going to look so far away, the radio telescopes are so sensitive, that you hope it can look far back in time so you can see the first stars forming and the first galaxies and how did they form," he said.

According to Cox, Australia can't ignore its responsibilities when it comes to climate research and welcomed the recent news that the government ordered the CSIRO to renew its focus in that area.

"You might say: `does Australia have to do it, the US are doing it and Europe are doing it', but Australia is the centre of expertise in the Southern Hemisphere so you need precision measurements of what's happened to the climate in the Southern Hemisphere as well as in the Northern Hemisphere in order to make your models better," he said.

Recent scientific research collated with data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where Cox still works, points towards the theories of the multiverse, the idea that other universes exist aside from ours.

It's something that Cox will discuss in his upcoming show A Journey Into Deep Space, which he will present live on stage in Australia alongside comedian Robin Ince, his co-host on BBC Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage.

"Theories are pointing us to, possibly ... the idea that there isn't just one universe, the bit we can see, the observable universe. We're very sure now that the universe extends beyond that but even that might be a bubble in something like a multiverse, so you've got loads of big bangs essentially," he said.

"So our Big Bang was one of many, perhaps one of an infinite number, and that leads you to this picture of reality where everything happens, everything that's possible happens."

Professor Brian Cox - A Journey Into Deep Space dates:

August 5 - The Plenary, MCEC, Melbourne

August 6 - The Great Hall, BCEC, Brisbane

August 9 - Canberra Theatre Centre

August 10,11 - State Theatre, Sydney

August 16 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre

August 18 - Riverside Theatre, PCEC, Perth

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