João Magueijo bigraphy, stories - Physicists

João Magueijo : biography

1967 -

João Magueijo (born 1967) is a Portuguese cosmologist and professor in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. He is a pioneer of the varying speed of light (VSL) theory.


  • A Brilliant Darkness: The Extraordinary Life and Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age, Basic Books, 2009/2010, ISBN 0-465-00903-9
  • Faster Than The Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation, Basic Books, 2003, ISBN 978-07382-0525-0

Axis of Evil

The term 'Axis of Evil' has become associated with João Magueijo. Professor Speransky of Lomonosov State University in Moscow states:

It is he who first found out that the 'cold' and 'warm' areas of the metagalaxy happened to be lying in the sky in a somewhat organized way. A computer simulation proved that the above distribution of fluctuations could occur only in case of a considerably smaller-sized universe.

Education and career

João Magueijo studied physics at the University of Lisbon. He undertook graduate work and Ph.D. at Cambridge University. He was awarded a research fellowship at St John's College, Cambridge, the same fellowship previously held by Paul Dirac and Abdus Salam. He has been a faculty member at Princeton and Cambridge, and is currently a professor at Imperial College London where he teaches undergraduates "General Relativity" and postgraduates "Advanced General Relativity".

In 1998, Magueijo teamed with Andreas Albrecht to work on the varying speed of light (VSL) theory of cosmology, which proposes that the speed of light was much higher in the early universe, of 60 orders of magnitude faster than its present value. This would explain the horizon problem (since distant regions of the expanding universe would have had time to interact and homogenize their properties), and is presented as an alternative to the more mainstream theory of cosmic inflation.

Magueijo discusses his personal struggles pursuing VSL in his 2003 book, Faster Than The Speed of Light, The Story of a Scientific Speculation. He was also associated with a dispute over priority concerning VSL with John Moffat. He was also the host of the Science Channel special, , which premiered on May 13, 2008.

In 2009, he published A Brilliant Darkness, an account of the life and science of vanished physicist Ettore Majorana.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine