J. Richard Gott

John Richard Gott III ( born February 8, 1947 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American theoretical physicist and astrophysicist.

God studied mathematics at Harvard University (Bachelor 1969 "summa cum laude" ) and received his doctorate in astrophysics at Princeton University in 1972. 1973/1974 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech and 1975 at the University of Cambridge. In 1976, he was back at Princeton University, where he became in 1987 professor of astrophysics.

In public, is God ( eg with the help of cosmic strings that deform spacetime ) is known for speculative ideas about time travel. God believes that time travel is theoretically possible, but not into his own past ( world line ) - time travel paradoxes would in his opinion, for example, can be bypassed with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. He also wrote a popular book about it. With Li- Xin Li 1998 he developed a model of a self -producing in a time warp universe.

Already in the 1980s he had become "nothing" familiar with ideas of creation of the universe as a quantum fluctuation from the.

From God comes a controversial prediction formula, which is known as the Doomsday argument ( for God also " Copernican Principle" ). The name comes from the fact that God thus a prediction of the likely timing of the destruction of mankind made ​​- from 5000 to 7.8 million years in the future, assuming that Homo sapiens have existed 200,000 years, and this with a confidence limit of 95 percent ..

God received an award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. For fourteen years he was chairman of a select committee of Westinghouse and Intel to promote scientific young talents ( National Westinghouse and Intel Science Talent Search), where he won a second place in 1965.


  • J. Richard Gott: Time travel in Einstein's universe. Rowohlt 2002, English Time Travel in Einstein 's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time. Houghton Mifflin Books, 2002, ISBN 0-618-25735-7.