Why The World Exists John Ellis

Why The World Exists

John Ellis

Where did the universe come from? What don’t we understand about its future? From dark energy to cosmic inflation, theoretical physicist John Ellis gives a contemporary account of how it all began.

  • johnellis
    John Ellis

    CERN physicist since 1978, Clerk Maxwell Professor, King’s College London, CBE.


About the Course

The origin of the universe has perplexed scientists for centuries. And from the rise of Quantum Mechanics to the problem of the Expanding Universe, contemporary physics has yet to find a satisfactory explanation for how we are here.

In this two-part course, Theoretical Physicist John Ellis presents his account of origin of the universe, showing why the Standard Model gets it wrong before outlining his solution.

You will learn about:

  • The Standard Model and its limitations.
  • The nature of Dark Matter.
  • The Problem of the Expanding Universe.
  • The mechanics of the Higgs Boson.


Through video lectures, questions and suggested reading discover what physics can tell you about the origins of the universe.  Share your ideas and support your learning through our discussion boards and test your knowledge through an end of course assessment.


This course is open to anyone with an interest in physics and requires no prior knowledge.

About the Instructor

  • John Ellis

    Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics at King’s College London who has worked extensively at CERN, and advocates the extension of the particle accelerator programme. His research focuses on phenomenological aspects of particle physics. Professor Ellis coined the term ‘theory of everything’, and in 1976 he coauthored the first paper on how to find the Higgs boson.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: What We Know
    Why does the world exist? Ellis covers the big bang, inflation and the limits of the known universe.
  • Part Two: What We Don't Know
    What hidden cosmic structures still escape our understanding? How might Dark Energy arise?