Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life

Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life

by Paul Davies
4.2 7
Pub. Date:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618592265
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/11/2007
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.99(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix A Note on Numbers xv 1. The Big Questions 1 2. The Universe Explained 18 3. How the Universe Began 49 4. What the Universe Is Made of and How It All Holds Together 85 5. The Lure of Complete Unification 103 6. Dark Forces of the Cosmos 116 7. A Universe Fit for Life 129 8. Does a Multiverse Solve the Goldilocks Enigma? 151 9. Intelligent and Not-So-Intelligent Design 191 10. How Come Existence? 222 Afterword: Ultimate Explanations 261 Notes 273 Bibliography 293 Index 297

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Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of ¿Cosmic Jackpot¿ is a lively and entertaining high-level review of current theories of the origin of the universe and the remarkable fine tuning of some of the forces and constants of physics that are ¿just right¿ to support life. I didn¿t learn much new, but it was a good read. Considering the purpose of the book, I felt a tad disappointed that Davies didn¿t include a table summarizing all the ¿cosmic coincidences¿ that make the universe suitable for life. The last short section attempts to address ¿Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life.¿ Alas, Davies falls short and doesn¿t provide a concrete resounding scientific reason. Instead, he proffers a handful of bizarre alternatives -- including intelligent design by a God or gods -- and identifies his favorite. Perhaps, that¿s the best anyone can do, but I had hoped for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pokes his head through the door. "Remember what ive been teaching you." Then shuts the door and walks away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago