To explain his theory, Neves turns to black holes and a mathematical trick first put forward by US physicist James Bardeen in 1968. Bardeen came up with a formula that made it possible to have a black hole without a singularity, while still keeping to the laws of general relativity – he named these "regular black holes". To do this, Bardeen reasoned that the mass of a black hole could be seen as a function depending on the distance to the black hole's center rather than as a constant, as previously assumed.
Neves simply took this idea and applied it to another singularity – the initial singularity, which foreshadowed the Big Bang.
Theoretically at least, this means that the Big Bounce theory could be back in the cards. Instead of the universe inflating from an infinitely dense point (the Big Bang theory), this means the universe continuously expands and contracts, each expansion and contraction lasting billions of years.
While it's a lovely idea, there is, of yet, not a lot of physical proof to back it up, though Neves suggests we start looking at black holes.
"[R]emnants of black holes from a previous phase of universal contraction... may have survived the bounce," he added.