Beyond: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science

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?

Our research at Arizona State University addresses such issues, through projects that range from cosmology through astrobiology and 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.

Our goal is to bring together scientists and philosophers from all disciplines to brainstorm some of the age-old questions of existence, using the latest ideas and discoveries at the forefront of scientific research. We are working to develop new experimental and theoretical research projects that change the way scientists think about foundational questions around:

  • 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