A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

2 November 2016

Cambridge University Press Bookshop (source CUPBookshop  on twitter)
Cambridge University Press Bookshop (source CUPBookshop on twitter)

Cambridge university Press has recently published a new book by SIfA cosmologists, Geraint Lewis and Luke Barnes. Titled "A Fortunate Universe", the book tackles one of the strangest concepts in modern physics, namely why do the physical properties of the universe appear to be fine-tuned for the existence of complexity and life.

This startling conclusion comes from playing "what if?" games with the universe, asking what would happen if the universe had been born with slightly different laws of physics. If gravity was weaker stars and galaxies would not form, while if it were stronger, they would burn too quickly for life to form. The result is that most "what if" universes would be dead and sterile, with no possibility of hosting complexity or life.

So why are we here? Is the answer hidden in our physical theories, or is this only ground that philosophers should tread? Or is there more to the universe that meets the eye, and ours is not alone? The book explores the science of the question of fine tuning, and dives into the potential, sometimes surprising, possibilities.

The book will be available in Australia at the end of November. To celebrate, the School of Physics will be hosting a book launch on Friday 25th November. Details for this will be announced shortly.