Picture of author.

For other authors named Paul Davies, see the disambiguation page.

Paul Davies (1) has been aliased into P. C. W. Davies.

29+ Works 8,125 Members 94 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Wikipedia author Markus Pössel (Mapos)

Works by Paul Davies

Works have been aliased into P. C. W. Davies.

God and the New Physics (1983) 960 copies
How to Build a Time Machine (2002) 513 copies
The New Physics (1989) — Editor — 158 copies

Associated Works

Works have been aliased into P. C. W. Davies.

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher (1963) — Introduction, some editions — 3,776 copies
The Character of Physical Law (1965) — Introduction, some editions — 1,531 copies
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 793 copies
Six Easy Pieces and Six Not-So-Easy Pieces (1963) — Introduction, some editions — 385 copies
Misfits (2007) — Cover artist, some editions — 76 copies
The Nature of Time (1986) — Contributor — 40 copies
Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon (2013) — Afterword — 35 copies
New Scientist, 15 October 1988 (1988) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Davies, Paul
Legal name
Davies, Paul Charles William
Other names
DAVIES, Paul Charles William
London, England, UK
Woodhouse Grammar School
University College London (BSc|Physics)
University College London (PhD|Physics)
University of Cambridge (postdoctorate)
Arizona State University
University of Cambridge
University of London
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
University of Adelaide
Macquarie University (show all 7)
International Academy of Astronautics
Awards and honors
Templeton Prize (1995)
Kelvin Medal (2001)
Faraday Prize (2002)
Advance Australia Award
Order of Australia (2007)
Short biography
Paul C. W. DAvies is a professor of natural philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University, Sydney. His research spans the fields of cosmology, gravitation, and quantum field theory, with particular emphasis on black holes, the origin of the universe, and the origin of life. [from What We Believe But Cannot Prove (2006)]



Advances in the field of science known as the new physics could bring within our grasp a unified description of all creation. This would demand a radical reformulation of the most fundamental aspects of reality and a way of thinking that is closer in accord with mysticism than materialism.
PendleHillLibrary | 3 other reviews | Nov 10, 2023 |
I admit, I'm a SETI supporter, even if only in spirit these days (my CPU's are doing Folding@home, now.) This is a great book that is simultaneously a highly accessible overview of the issues and details of SETI, an argument for doing SETI, and in the best tradition of SETI, an touches on many interesting questions (What is life? Technologically, and hence culturally, where might we go from here? Etc.)
dcunning11235 | 20 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |
I found this short book a delightful read. Davies gives us a brief overview of how current physics theory, in particular relativity and quantum mechanics, can allow the possibility for time travel, both to the future and, more surprisingly, to the past. He also briefly describes the kinds of paradoxes that can result from time travel to the past and how these paradoxes might be resolved. This brief introduction motivates me to seek more detailed treatments in the popularized science genre and the more technical physics research literature.… (more)
cdwentworth | 8 other reviews | Jul 22, 2023 |
This a top-class survey of the subject—including some of its profounder aspects because this isn’t just a scientific problem, it’s a philosophical and even religious one too.
    Scientifically, it hinges on the role which chance may, or may not, have played. Is life an inevitable expression of the various laws of nature: “run” the universe a thousand times over and would you always get life (and perhaps mind)? Or is it a flukey outcome of those laws, a falling of the cosmic dice so improbable it would likely never be repeated? The first possibility not only sounds like foresight, a Plan, but since the laws of nature work the same way everywhere then life will prove to be common throughout the universe. The second, by contrast, leaves us alone and, perhaps, meaningless as well.
    To explore such ideas, though, you need the relevant background information, and Davies guides us through it in exceptionally plain language. For a start, there’s the whole business of what “life” actually is, and what it is not. Creationists, for instance, often argue that its mere existence contradicts the laws of physics—entropy and all that, the thermodynamic running down of the universe—and Chapter 2 includes a wonderfully clear explanation of how that is a misunderstanding both of living things and the universe itself. Then there’s DNA and the mind-numbing complexity of cell and genetic code alike. And there’s the whole subject of where life may have begun (if indeed it ever did): on the Earth’s surface, or perhaps miles beneath it inside rocks then spreading up to the surface? This latter, the world of subterranean “extremophile” microbes, is a fascinating and relatively new subject which questions the assumption “…that surface life is ‘normal’, and subterranean life is an off-beat adaptation… Could it be that the reasoning is literally upside down, and that the truth is just the opposite?” Then again though, did life begin on Earth at all, or did it arrive here from elsewhere (from Mars for instance, which early in its own history was very Earthlike)? Or did life never have a beginning and has always existed? This last one is just part of the whole question of whether the universe itself had a beginning or not, or is infinitely old.
    There’s a lot more here besides and, although it was last updated in 2003, this book is still not only a clear-headed guide through its subject, but an unusually deep one too. Absolutely excellent.
… (more)
justlurking | 3 other reviews | Jun 14, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs