Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr 11, 2007 - Science - 336 pages
Cosmic Jackpot 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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

COSMIC JACKPOT: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life

User Review  - Kirkus

Some cosmologists consider our presence in the universe a central clue to its inner workings. Others strongly disagree.Davies (Physics/Arizona State; How to Build a Time Machine, 2002, etc.) is one of ... Read full review

Cosmic jackpot: why our universe is just right for life

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is not a traditional popular science book; its BS651 call number reveals an emphasis on the religious and philosophical aspects of cosmology. Coming from physicist and cosmologist Davies (Arizona ... Read full review

Contents

IV
1
V
2
VI
3
VII
18
VIII
49
IX
85
X
103
XI
116
XIII
151
XIV
191
XV
222
XVI
261
XVII
273
XVIII
293
XIX
297
Copyright

XII
129

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

PAUL DAVIES is an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, and The Goldilocks Enigma.

Bibliographic information