Jeff Forshaw

Jeff Forshaw Headshot

Jeff Forshaw is professor of theoretical particle physics at the University of Manchester. He is a research scientist and teacher – Professor Brian Cox is his most well-known student. Together with Brian, he has written four popular science books (Why does E=mc^2?, The Quantum Universe, Universal and, most recently, Black Holes). He received the Kelvin Medal ‘For his wide-reaching work aimed at helping the general public to understand complex ideas in physics’, and the James Clerk Maxwell Medal for ‘outstanding contributions to theoretical physics.’

Jeff hails from the north west of England and is known for his simple language and plain-speaking approach. He is inspired by the deep mystery at the heart of the universe and humanity’s noble quest to understand it. He’s also well aware that we most likely know very little – that we are scratching at the surface of something far bigger. His talks are in part a celebration of the joy of not knowing – of glimpsing something more.


Black Holes: The Key To Understanding the Universe

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

At the heart of the Milky Way lies a supermassive black hole 4 million times more massive than our Sun. A place where space and time are so warped that light is trapped if it ventures within 12 million km. According to Einstein, inside lies the end of time. According to 21st-century physics, the reality may be far more bizarre.

Black holes lie where the most massive stars used to shine and at the edge of our current understanding. They are naturally occurring objects, the inevitable creations of gravity when too much matter collapses into not enough space. And yet, although the laws of nature predict them, they fail fully to describe them.

Black holes are places in space and time where the laws of gravity, quantum physics and thermodynamics collide. Originally thought to be so intellectually troubling that they simply could not exist, it is only in the past few years that we have begun to glimpse a new synthesis; a deep connection between gravity and quantum information theory that describes a holographic universe in which space and time emerge from a network of quantum bits, and wormholes span the void.

In this groundbreaking book, Professor Brian Cox and Professor Jeff Forshaw take you to the edge of our understanding of black holes; a scientific journey to the research frontier spanning a century of physics, from Einstein to Hawking and beyond, that ends with the startling conclusion that our world may operate like a giant quantum computer.

‘An amazing thing to read. So satisfying, I really recommend reading this book… fascinating’

— Jeremy Vine

‘Fascinating… a mind-boggling new book’

— Afternoon Edition with Nihal Arthanayake, BBC Radio

‘A spellbinding cosmic exploration’

— Kirkus Reviews

Universal: A Journey Through the Cosmos

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Over the centuries, the human urge to discover has unlocked an incredible amount of knowledge. What it reveals to us is breathtaking.

Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration and, in doing so, reveals how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond. Some of these questions – How big is our solar system? How fast is space expanding? – can be answered from your back garden; the answers to others – How big is the Universe? What is it made of? – draw on the astonishing information now being gathered at the frontiers of the known universe. Science reveals a deeper beauty, connects us to our world, and to our Universe; and, by understanding the groundbreaking work of others, reaches out into the unknown. What’s more, as Universal shows us, if we dare to imagine, we can all do it.

‘There is still much to learn about our universe. Universal will help inspire those who share my fascination with our planets, the solar system and beyond.’

— Buzz Aldrin

‘Cox and Forshaw stand together at the cutting edge of their discipline … despite their elevated status, both men remain tiggerishly excitable about their subject … they popularize without dumbing down.’

— Financial Times

‘They do a great job of bringing a difficult subject to life’

— Times

‘Acclaimed British physicists Cox and Forshaw team up once again in this accessible, lucid, and entertaining introduction to cutting-edge astrophysics and cosmology’

— Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

From the bestselling authors of Why does E=mc2? comes The Quantum Universe, in which Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw go on a brilliantly ambitious mission to show that everyone can understand the deepest questions of science.

But just what is quantum physics? How does it help us understand our amazing world? Where does it leave Newton and Einstein? And why, above all, can we be sure that the theory is good?

Here, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw give us the real science behind the bizarre behaviour of the atoms and energy that make up the universe. They reveal exactly how everything that can happen, does happen.

‘A scientific match made in heaven … as breezily written an account of the theory of quantum physics as you could wish for – from the Planck constant to the Higgs particle and everything theoretically in between.’

— Observer

‘Mindblowing … what is novel about this attempt is that the writers take an intellectual rather than a historical approach … it is a surprisingly rich idea that allows the authors to avoid using too much mathematics.’

— Sunday Times

‘A serious and thorough but charming work about quantum theory.’

— Financial Times

‘With clear prose and helpful diagrams, (Cox and Forshaw) march the reader along a series of arguments so that nonspecialists can get a sense of where the core concepts come from … (an) engaging, ambitious and creative tour of our quantum universe.’

— Guardian

‘The reader is made to work along the way and for those prepared to do so there is much to learn.’

— Telegraph

‘Using ingenious pedagogical examples, (Cox and Forshaw) demonstrate that weird quantum phenomena make perfect sense … An ambitious explanation of the vast quantum universe aimed at readers willing to work.’

— Kirkus Reviews

‘An awe-inspiring physicist, TV presenter and former pop star: Professor Brian Cox certainly possesses an infinite vortex of talent.’

— GQ presenting Brian with TV Personality of the Year 2011

‘[The Quantum Universe] brings the reader to reconsider his immediate environment in a new light. For example, the palpable matter surrounding us and of which we are made is essentially empty. So full of nothing that the reader would be astonished of not going more easily through his chair, and worse, to be able to address this improbable thought with scientific reasoning …. deserves attention since it offers a real opportunity for motivated non-physicists to discover the inner workings of quantum physics.’

— Le Monde

Why Does E=mc²?

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2010.

This is an engaging and accessible explanation of Einstein’s equation which explores the principles of physics through everyday life. In this riveting, deeply informative exploration of Einstein’s famous equation, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw go on a journey to the frontier of 21st-century science to consider the real meaning behind the iconic sequence of symbols that make up Einstein’s most famous equation. Breaking down the symbols themselves, they pose a series of questions: What is energy? What is mass? What has the speed of light got to do with energy and mass?

In answering these questions, they take us to the site of one of the largest scientific experiments ever conducted. Lying beneath the city of Geneva, straddling the Franco-Swiss boarder, is a 27-km particle accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider. Using this gigantic machine – which can recreate conditions in the early Universe fractions of a second after the Big Bang – Cox and Forshaw describe the current theory behind the origin of mass.

‘A brilliant exposition of Einstein’s famous equation … a truly impressive achievement.’

— Daily Telegraph

‘In Why Does E=mc2? Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw tackle the most famous equation of all time in a remarkably comprehensive way … the pair make some surprising points that I haven’t seen expressed in quite the same way.’

— New Scientist on the Royal Society 2010 shortlist.

‘They have blazed a clear trail into forbidding territory, from the mathematical structure of space-time all the way to atom bombs, astrophysics and the origin of mass.’

— New Scientist

‘A brilliant starting point for any non-expert who wants to understand the most important equation yet formulated. This is a lucid and intelligent book … The idea that space and time are not immutable constants is fundamental and dizzyingly exciting.’

— The Times

‘Pairs the enthusiasm of newcomers with the knowledge of experts.’

— Physics World

‘Many authors have tried to explain [the equation’s] origins, with mixed results. It’s hard to think of two authors more qualified for the job than Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw … They do a grand job of answering the question in the book’s title, and of tying it to the cutting edge of 21st century physics.’

— BBC Focus Magazine

‘[It] remind[s] us that Einstein’s equation is not some esoteric idea best pondered by scientific supermen, but a profound insight that continues to change lives … Cox and Forshaw’s enthusiasm for their material is plain.’

— Boston Globe

‘Cox and Forshaw take the equation that all of us know and few of us understand – and make it crystal clear for all of us. A thrilling experience of passionate comprehension.’

— Ann Druyan, co-writer, COSMOS televison series

‘If you’ve ever wanted to understand the basic principles of energy, mass and light there’s no better place to learn.’

— Manchester Evening News