Paul Davies, Ph.D.

davies, p..pngPaul Davies, Ph.D.
(Theoretical Physicist / Astrobiologist, ASU)

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FEATURED IN:

1.3 – The Visitors (4.27.10)
1.4 – The Mission (5.4.10)
1.6 – The Return (5.25.10)

8.6 – The Other Earth (9.28.15)
8.7 – Creatures of the Deep (9.4.15)
8.9 – The Alien Wars (9.25.15)

9.2 – Destination Mars (5.13.16)
9.11 – Space Station Moon (7.29.16)

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ABOUT:

Paul Davies is a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author. He is Regents’ Professor and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, and Principal Investigator in the Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology, all at Arizona State University. Previously he held academic appointments at the Universities of Cambridge, London and Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, before moving to Australia in 1990, initially as Professor of Mathematical Physics at The University of Adelaide. Later he helped found the Australian Centre for Astrobiology.

Davies’s research interests are focused on the “big questions” of existence, ranging from the origin of the universe to the origin of life, and include the nature of time, the search for life in the universe and foundational questions in quantum mechanics. He helped create the theory of quantum fields in curved spacetime, with which he provided explanations for how black holes can radiate energy, and what caused the ripples in the cosmic afterglow of the big bang. In astrobiology, he was a forerunner of the theory that life on Earth may have come from Mars. He is currently championing the theory that Earth may host a shadow biosphere of alternative life forms.

In addition to his research, Davies is known as a passionate science communicator, and is in demand world-wide for media appearances and public presentations. He has lectured on scientific topics at institutions as diverse as The World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the Commission of the European Union, Google, Windsor Castle, The Vatican and Westminster Abbey, as well as mainstream academic establishments such as The Royal Society, The Smithsonian Institution, the New York Academy of Sciences, The American Association for the Advancement of Science and hundreds of universities. He has twice debated scientific topics with the Dalai Lama, and contributed to numerous debates about science, religion and culture. His 28 popular and specialist books have been translated into over 20 languages, and are notable for presenting complex ideas in accessible terms. Among his best sellers are The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, The Fifth Miracle and The Goldilocks Enigma. His latest book, The Eerie Silence, is about the search for intelligent life in the universe, and will be published in early 2010. Davies devised and presented a highly successful series of 45 minute BBC Radio 3 science documentaries, and a one-hour television documentary about his work in astrobiology, entitled The Cradle of Life. In Australia his many television projects included two six-part series The Big Questions, filmed in the outback, and More Big Questions.

Paul Davies has won many awards, including the 1995 Templeton Prize for his work on the deeper implications of science, the 2001 Kelvin Medal from the UK Institute of Physics, and the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize from the Royal Society for promoting science to the public. In April 1999 the asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) Pauldavies. In June 2007 he was named a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s birthday honors list. [1]

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The Art of Assassin’s Creed Origins

Having taken players all the way to the gateway to the modern world in Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed once again takes fans on an adventure through history. The Art of Assassin’s Creed 7 collates hundreds of concept arts, including sketches, final paintings, and 3D Renders, alongside in-depth commentary from the artists and developers, representing the ultimate insight into the design processes behind the game.

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Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher

It was Richard Feynman’s outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics around the world. Six Easy Pieces, taken from these famous Lectures on Physics, represent the most accessible material from the series.

In these classic lessons, Feynman introduces the general reader to the following topics: atoms, basic physics, energy, gravitation, quantum mechanics, and the relationship of physics to other topics. With his dazzling and inimitable wit, Feynman presents each discussion with a minimum of jargon. Filled with wonderful examples and clever illustrations, Six Easy Pieces is the ideal introduction to the fundamentals of physics by one of the most admired and accessible physicists of modern times.

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The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World

Throughout history, humans have dreamed of knowing the reason for the existence of the universe. In The Mind of God, physicist Paul Davies explores whether modern science can provide the key that will unlock this last secret. In his quest for an ultimate explanation, Davies reexamines the great questions that have preoccupied humankind for millennia, and in the process explores, among other topics, the origin and evolution of the cosmos, the nature of life and consciousness, and the claim that our universe is a kind of gigantic computer. Charting the ways in which the theories of such scientists as Newton, Einstein, and more recently Stephen Hawking and Richard Feynman have altered our conception of the physical universe. Davies puts these scientists’ discoveries into context with the writings of philosophers such as Plato. Descartes, Hume, and Kant. His startling conclusion is that the universe is “no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here.” By the means of science, we can truly see into the mind of God.

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How to Build a Time Machine

With his unique knack for making cutting-edge theoretical science effortlessly accessible, world-renowned physicist Paul Davies now tackles an issue that has boggled minds for centuries: Is time travel possible? The answer, insists Davies, is definitely yes—once you iron out a few kinks in the space-time continuum. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, Davies explains the theoretical physics that make visiting the future and revisiting the past possible, then proceeds to lay out a four-stage process for assembling a time machine and making it work. Wildly inventive and theoretically sound, How to Build a Time Machine is creative science at its best—illuminating, entertaining, and thought provoking.

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The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?

The Goldilocks Enigma is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the “big questions,” including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life?

In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident — we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot.

While this “multiverse” theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there’s a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life — and, ultimately, consciousness — aren’t just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe.

Whether he’s elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways.

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God and the New Physics

How did the universe begin and how will it end?
What is matter?
What is mind, and can it survive death?
What are time and space, and how do they relate to ideas about God?
Is the order of the universe the result of accident or design?

The most profound and age-old questions of existence — for centuries the focus of religion and philosophy — may soon be answered through the extraordinary advances of a field of science known as the new physics. In this illuminating work, Paul Davies, author of the acclaimed Other Worlds and The Edge of Infinity, writes that the discoveries of 20th-century physics — relativity and the quantum theory — are now pointing the way to a new appreciation of man and his place in the universe. They could, in fact, bring within our grasp a unified description of all creation. Demanding a radical reformulation of the most fundamental aspects of reality and a way of thinking that is in closer accord with mysticism than materialism, the new physics, says Davies, offers a surer path to God than religion.

Described by The Washington Post as “impressive,” God and the New Physics is a fascinating look at the impact of science on what were formerly religious issues. Elegantly written, a book for both scholars and lay readers of science, it is, according to the Christian Science Monitor, a “provocative…rewarding intellectual romp.”

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About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution

An elegant, witty, and engaging exploration of the riddle of time, which examines the consequences of Einstein’s theory of relativity and offers startling suggestions about what recent research may reveal.

The eternal questions of science and religion were profoundly recast by Einstein’s theory of relativity and its implications that time can be warped by motion and gravitation, and that it cannot be meaningfully divided into past, present, and future.

In About Time, Paul Davies discusses the big bang theory, chaos theory, and the recent discovery that the universe appears to be younger than some of the objects in it, concluding that Einstein’s theory provides only an incomplete understanding of the nature of time. Davies explores unanswered questions such as:
* Does the universe have a beginning and an end?
* Is the passage of time merely an illusion?
* Is it possible to travel backward — or forward — in time?

About Time weaves physics and metaphysics in a provocative contemplation of time and the universe.

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8 - Are We Alone - Philosophical Implications Of The Discovery Of Extraterrestrial Life

Are We Alone?: Philosophical Implications Of The Discovery Of Extraterrestrial Life

Scientists and governments are actively searching for signs of life in the universe. Will their efforts meet with success? Award-winning author Paul Davies, an eminent scientist who writes with the flair of a science fiction writer, explores the ramifications that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would have for our science, our religions, and our worldview in general.

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The Matter Myth: Dramatic Discoveries that Challenge Our Understanding of Physical Reality

In this sweeping survey, acclaimed science writers Paul Davies and John Gribbin provide a complete overview of advances in the study of physics that have revolutionized modern science. From the weird world of quarks and the theory of relativity to the latest ideas about the birth of the cosmos, the authors find evidence for a massive paradigm shift. Developments in the studies of black holes, cosmic strings, solitons, and chaos theory challenge commonsense concepts of space, time, and matter, and demand a radically altered and more fully unified view of the universe.

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The Ghost in the Atom: A Discussion of the Mysteries of Quantum Physics

Anybody who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. Niels Bohr’s dictum bears witness to the bewildering impact of quantum theory, flying in the face of classical physics and dramatically transforming scientists’ outlook on our relationship with the material world. In this book Paul Davies interviews eight physicists involved in debating and testing the theory, with radically different views of its significance.

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The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

One of the world’s leading scientists explains why—and how—the search for intelligent life beyond Earth should be expanded.

Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake first pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). After a half-century of scanning the skies, however, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life. Physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies has been closely involved with SETI for three decades and chairs the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we’re suddenly confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. He believes the search so far has fallen into an anthropocentric trap—assuming that an alien species will look, think, and behave much like us. In this provocative book Davies refocuses the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if it does.

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12 - The Re-Emergence of Emergence - The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion

This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. It provides the clearest explication yet of this exciting new theory of science, which challenges the reductionist approach by proposing the continuous emergence of novel phenomena.

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13 - The Edge of Infinity - Naked Singularities and the Destruction of Spacetime

The Edge of Infinity: Naked Singularities and the Destruction of Spacetime

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The Accidental Universe

In The Accidental Universe renowned expositor Paul Davies grapples with the most fundamental questions of all. What is our purpose and the purpose of the universe? Are both an accident of nature? Paul Davies guides us through the mysterious coincidences underlying the structure and properties of the universe we inhabit. He sets out the intriguing hypothesis that the appearance of the universe and its properties are highly contrived. Paul Davies gives a survey of the range of apparently miraculous accidents of nature that have enabled the universe to evolve its familiar structure of atoms, stars, galaxies and life itself. This remarkable book concludes with an investigation of the anthropic principle, which postulates that much of what we observe around us is a consequence of the presence of observers in the universe. This thesis of a cosmic biological selection effect is fiercely debated among scientists and is here set out clearly for a general readership.

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The Origin of Life

From award-winning science writer Paul Davies, The Origin of Life reveals the remarkable new theories set to transform the understanding of our place in the universe. Is life written into the laws of nature, or just a bizarre accident, unique in the universe? How can a mix of non-living chemicals be transformed into something as complex as the living cell? Acclaimed physicist, astrobiologist and writer Paul Davies presents evidence that life began billions of years ago kilometres underground, arguing that it may well have started on Mars and spread to Earth in rocks blasted off the Red Planet by asteroid impacts. This solution to the riddle of life’s origin has sweeping implications for the nature of the universe and our place within it, and opens the way to a radical rethinking of where we came from. ‘One of a handful of first-rate scientists who are popular writers. If you are going to read only one book on the origin of life, seriously consider this one’ The New York Times ‘The best science writer on either side of the Atlantic’ Washington Times ‘Davies succeeds not only in being provocative and controversial, but in maintaining the rigorous scientific approach of the physicist… a classic example of how to present a scientific case, and an insight into the way good scientists work’ John Gribbin, Independent Paul Davies has achieved an international reputation for his ability to explain the significance of advanced scientific ideas in simple language. He is the author of some twenty books, including Superforce, God and the New Physics, The Mind of God, The Last Three Minutes, Are We Alone? and How to Build a Time Machine.

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The Forces of Nature

This is a new edition of Paul Davies’ very highly regarded text on high-energy particle physics aimed at the scientifically educated general reader. Since the appearance of the first edition in 1979 there have been many major developments in the field, and the author has taken this opportunity to bring the text completely up to date. Paul Davies includes details of one of the most significant of these developments, the experimental discovery in 1983 of the W and Z intermediate vector bosons, and discusses the implications for the eventual unification of the four forces of nature. In addition to this, the discovery of the top and bottom quarks, the details and predictions of modern grand unified theories (GUTs), and the application of the results of high-energy physics to studies of the very early universe are all included.

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The Last Three Minutes: Conjectures About The Ultimate Fate Of The Universe

Ragnarok. Armageddon. Doomsday. Since the dawn of time, man has wondered how the world would end. In The Last Three Minutes, Paul Davies reveals the latest theories. It might end in a whimper, slowly scattering into the infinite void. Then again, it might be yanked back by its own gravity and end in a catastrophic “Big Crunch.” There are other, more frightening possibilities. We may be seconds away from doom at this very moment.Written in clear language that makes the cutting-edge science of quarks, neutrinos, wormholes, and metaverses accessible to the layman, The Last Three Minutes treats readers to a wide range of conjectures about the ultimate fate of the universe. Along the way, it takes the occasional divergent path to discuss some slightly less cataclysmic topics such as galactic colonization, what would happen if the Earth were struck by the comet Swift-Tuttle (a distinct possibility), the effects of falling in a black hole, and how to create a “baby universe.” Wonderfully morbid to the core, this is one of the most original science books to come along in years.

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The Physics of Time Asymmetry

It is a basic property of nature that our world possesses a structural distinction between past and future; in physics this is known as time asymmetry, and it is a controversial and obscure area of study. Can the asymmetry in time of the everyday world be accounted for on the basis of conventional physics? If so, what is the nature of asymmetry? What is its origin? Are there other, less conspicuous asymmetric processes? The author examines these questions in the light of research covering a wide range of physics, encompassing such diverse topics as a statistical and quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, elementary particles, and cosmology. He claims that the major problems remaining are philosophical and conceptual rather than physical, and offers a summary of our present understanding of the subject and suggestions for further research. — from book’s back cover

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Cosmic Blueprint

Examines theories about the creation of the universe, argues that matter and energy have the ability to self-organize, and suggests that the universe is developing along a predestined plan

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Other Worlds: Space, Superspace, and the Quantum Universe

When physicists began exploring the inner workings of the atom, they uncovered a world so weird that it overturned our very concept of reality. When you journey into the quantum universe you enter a world ruled by chance. Commonsense notions of space, time and causality must be left behind as the realm of solid matter dissolves away into vibrating patterns of ghostly energy; even spacetime itself is revealed as an ephemeral froth of wormholes and tunnels. Most revolutionary of all is the way in which quantum physics interweaves mind and matter in a subtle and holistic manner. It is here that scientists make the most startling claim of all: that there exist myriads of alternative realities in parallel to our own. Are these “other worlds” just mathematical artefacts, or do they really exist?

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The FIFTH MIRACLE: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life

In this provocative and far-reaching book, internationally acclaimed physicist and writer Paul Davies confronts one of science’s great outstanding mysteries — the origin of life.

Three and a half billion years ago, Mars resembled earth. It was warm and wet and could have supported primitive organisms. If life once existed on Mars, might it have originated there and traveled to earth inside meteorites blasted into space by cosmic impacts?

Davies builds on recent scientific discoveries and theories to address larger questions of existence: What, exactly, is life? Is it the inevitable by-product of physical laws, as many scientists maintain, or an almost miraculous accident? Are we alone in the universe, or will life emerge on all earthlike planets? And if there is life elsewhere in the universe, is it preordained to evolve toward greater complexity and intelligence?

Through his search for answers to these questions, Davies explores the ultimate mystery of mankind’s existence — who we are and what our place might be in the unfolding drama of the cosmos.

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[1] http://cosmos.asu.edu/biography

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Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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