The Unique Hoyle State of the Carbon Atom
The famous astronomer Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) started his research career as an atheist. Hoyle's most important contribution to astrophysics is the theory of nucleosynthesis, i.e. the idea that chemical elements such as carbon can form in stars on the basis of hydrogen and helium. Essentially here was his prediction that the carbon core has a state with a specific energy which is precisely adapted to the basic fusion process. This result was one of the most important breakthroughs in modern astrophysics, and the so called Hoyle state has become a cornerstone for state-of- the-art nuclear theory. The calculations he made, eventually revealed a fine-tuning of the universe. Hoyle's work in this area supported the anthropic principle that the universe was fine-tuned so that intelligent life would be possible. It is said that what really made him conclude that creation demanded intelligence, were his calculations of the special properties of the carbon atom. This shook his atheism fundamentally [1, p.57]. In this paper we describe this discovery.
Paper from the proceedings of The 1st Virtual International Conference on the Dialogue between Science and Theology. Cosmology, Life & Anthropology,at the Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania held from 6 to 11 November, 2014