Our vision for BEYOND
To create new and exciting ideas that push the boundaries of research a bit "beyond"
To conduct research that transcends traditional subject categories
To answer foundational questions in science, and explore their philosophical ramifications - what might be called "the big questions"
To present science to the public as a key component of our culture and of significance to all humanity
The picture shows a representation of a Calabi-Yau manifold - a higher-dimensional geometrical and topological construction that arises in string theory.
For thousands of years, people have gazed in wonder at the world about them and asked the big questions: How did the universe came into existence? What is it made of? Where do human beings fit in this great cosmic scheme? Is there a meaning to it all?
Such questions have mostly been restricted to religion and philosophy. Now scientists are addressing them too, following spectacular advances in cosmology, subatomic particle physics, molecular biology, genetics and neuroscience. Physicists are busy seeking a way to meld the disparate laws of physics into an embracing mathematical scheme. Biochemists are on the verge of making life in the laboratory, while Biologists are looking for signs of a second genesis on Mars. On every front, science is transforming our world view and challenging age-old assumptions about the nature of the physical universe and our place within it.
Artist’s interpretation of a lecture by Paul Davies entitled “Taming complexity: opening a new scientific frontier,” delivered at the Future Summit of the Australian Davos Connection in Sydney, Australia, May 12, 2008 (courtesy ADC).
Our research projects address such issues, and range from cosmology, through astrobiology to the ultimate fate of humanity. We tackle subjects as diverse as time travel, the colonization of Mars, multiple universes, the nature of complexity and the relationship between mathematics and nature.
Core research themes at the Beyond Center include:
- The origin and end of the universe
- The origin of life
- The search for extraterrestrial life
- Rethinking cancer
- Quantum mechanics and the nature of reality
- Black holes, string theory and quantum gravity
- The arrow of time
- The nature of the laws of physics