This lecture is part of a series of lectures on “Astronomy” organised by Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in collaboration with the British Council.
In this talk we will look at the structure and development of our astronomical universe, highlighting the features that appear inevitable from those that may be accidental. The emergence of the idea that our universe may be one amongst many in a 'multiverse' provokes us to think of our visible universe in a new way. Is it extremely likely or unlikely, or perhaps just typical? And what of the future? Do we live in a special period of cosmic history when it is possible to observe and understand the universe in ways that will be impossible in the far future?
John D. Barrow FRS is Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project, a programme to improve the appreciation of mathematics and it applications. His research interests are in cosmology, gravitation, and the interface between particle physics and astronomy.
He has received many awards, including the 2006 Templeton Prize, the Royal Society’s 2008 Faraday Prize, the 2009 Kelvin Medal of the Institute of Physics, the 2012 Zeeman Medal of the London Mathematical Society, and the 2015 Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Academia Europaea. He has written more than 500 scientific papers, and 22 books translated into 28 languages; the most recent are 100 Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know about Maths and the Arts, and The Book of Universes. His play, Infinities, won the Premi Ubu for best play in the Italian theatre in 2002 and the 2003 Italgas Prize. The Spanish version was performed in Valencia in 2002,