My honourable co-author Geraint Lewis has written a short overview of the fine-tuning of the Universe for intelligent life at the Conversation. Go have a read.
Book update: we’re reviewing a contract with a publisher.
I’ll be speaking at the Northern Sydney Astronomical Society on Tuesday 15th September. The meeting at at Regis Hall, Regis Campus, St Ignatius College,Riverview St, Lane Cove at 7:30 pm. I’m on at 8pm.
In November, I’ll be speaking in Sutherland, so stay tuned.
Title: The Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life
Abstract: Let’s make it slightly different from the one that we are familiar with. We could change the laws of nature, just a little bit. We could change how the universe begins, or make it four-dimensional. In the last 30 years, scientists have discovered something astounding: the vast majority of these changes are disastrous. We end up with a universe containing no galaxies, no stars, no planets, no atoms, no molecules, and most importantly, no intelligent life-forms wondering what went wrong. This fact is called the fine-tuning of the universe for life. After explaining the science of what happens when you change the way our universe works, we will ask: what does all this mean?
I was sent a series of questions about black holes for a school project, and thought I’d make this video rather than writing a long email. Here are the questions:
Below the video, on the YouTube page, are the links to the webpages that I show in the video.
Let me know if this is useful, and I might make a few more on other topics. Also, as always, more questions are welcome in the comments.
Another talk in Sydney tonight. Everything you could possibly want to know about cosmology!
The Macarthur Astronomy Forum proudly presents Dr Luke Barnes (USYD)
When: Monday July 20th.
Where: UWS Campbelltown, University of Western Sydney – Bldg 30, Main Theatre – School of Medicine: Goldsmith Avenue, Campbelltown.
Time: 7.30pm sharp
Topic: Act One, Scene Two: How the Universe blooms.
How do we know what the Universe is made of? And what shapes its parts into the stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies that we see around us? Starting from the very early universe, I’ll discuss how the fundamental factors of our universe, its forces, particles, and the dynamical stage that they tread (space time), compete and cooperate to fashion the Universe we see around us.
Another video of one of my talks. The goal is to take Bayesian probability theory as it is used in the physical sciences and see if it can make sense of postulating and testing a multiverse theory.
As part of a project called Establishing the Philosophy of Cosmology, I attended a conference in Tenerife, Spain in September last year. The line-up of fellow attendees was, frankly, intimidating. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time, learned a lot and presented some of my own ideas towards the end of the conference.
Joel Primack – Cosmological Structure Formation. A nice introduction to how the universe made its galaxies.
Barry Loewer – Metaphysics of Laws & Time in Cosmology. A very helpful talk on how to think about the laws of nature, and the place of probabilities therein.
George Ellis – Observability and Testability in cosmology and Cosmology: what are the Limits of Science. Made an important distinction between “big-C” Cosmology, whose purview is all of reality, and “little-c” cosmology, which is a branch of science about what physics and physical observations can say about the universe as a whole.
Sean Carroll – What Happens Inside the Wave Function? (I’ll let Sean explain here.)
The talks by Don Page, Bob Wald, Jim Hartle, Joe Silk, David Wallace, David Albert, Chris Smeenk, Brian Pitts, Tom Banks, and Jean-Philippe Uzan were very interesting, as were the discussion panels of Dean Zimmerman, Jennan Ismael & Tim Maudlin, and Janna Levin, Priya Natarajan, Claus Beisbart & Pedro Ferreira.
Here’s mine. Enjoy.
(My sister is a TV journalist. I’m going to have to get some tips about not fidgeting, what to do with my hands, and not flubbing my words. I say “quantise” instead of “quantify” at one point. *cringe* My good wife has seen me give public lectures, and has commented that I appear to be on speed.)