Paul Halpern PhD

Paul Halpern PhD

Professor of Physics

Fellow in Humanities


BA (Temple University)

MA (State University of New York at Stonybrook)

PhD (State University of New York at Stonybrook)

Research Interests

Complex and higher-dimensional solutions in general relativity, the history of modern physics, and the relationship between science and culture.


Dr. Halpern's areas of expertise include the history of physics, cultural aspects of physics and theoretical astrophysics & cosmology.  He is the author of numerous books and was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002.

He was among 184 artists, scholars and scientists nationally selected to receive a fellowship from more than 2,800 applicants for awards totaling $6,750,000. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. He used the fellowship award to examine the history of the notion of higher dimensions in science, as well as the impact of this idea upon popular culture. His research, "The Concept of Dimensionality in Science," covered the period from the mid-19th century, when the idea of the fourth dimension was first introduced, until the late 20th century, when scientists developed 10 and 11 dimensional models of the universe.

A recipient of the Athenaeum Society Literary Award, he has published numerous research articles in the fields of general relativity, cosmology, chaos theory and complexity. In 1996, he was a Fulbright Scholar to Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, where he studied evolutionary algorithms.


Selected Scholarly Activity

Recent Articles

“The Localized Energy Distribution of Dark Energy Star Solutions,” P. Halpern and M. Pecorino, ISRN Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 2013, 939876, (2013).

"Spacetime as a Multicursal Labyrinth in Literature with Application to Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle." J. Everett and P. Halpern, KronoScope 13, No. 1 (2013).

“Quantum Humor: The Playful Side of Physics at Bohr’s Institute for Theoretical Physics,” P. Halpern, Physics in Perspective 14, (2012).

“Time as an Expanding Labyrinth of Information,” P. Halpern, Kronoscope 10, Nos. 1-2, (2010), pp. 64-76.

“Washington: A DC Circuit Tour,” P. Halpern, Physics in Perspective 12, No. 4, (2010), pp. 443-466

"Mind Out of Time: Identity, Perception, and the Fourth Dimension in H. P. Lovecraft’s 'The Shadow Out of Time' and 'The Dreams in the Witch House',” P. Halpern and M. LaBossiere, Extrapolation 50, No. 3 (2009).

“The Physical Tourist: Philadelphia: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Physics,” P. Halpern, Physics in Perspective 11, (2009).

“Stephen Brush Awarded the 2009 Pais Prize,” P. Halpern, APS Forum on the History of Physics Newsletter 10, No. 6, 1 (2009).

“Energy Distribution of a Charged Black Hole with a Minimally Coupled Scalar Field,” Astrophysics and Space Science 307 (2007).

“Klein, Einstein and Five-Dimensional Unification,” P. Halpern, Physics in Perspective 9 (2007).

“Is the Universe a Doughnut?” P. Halpern, Cosmos, Sept. 6, 2007.

"Energy of the Taub Cosmological Solution," P. Halpern, Astrophysics and Space Science 306, 279 (2006).

“Energy Distribution of Black Plane Solutions,” P. Halpern, Modern Physics Letters A21, 495 (2006).

“Peter Bergmann: The Education of a Physicist,” P. Halpern, Physics in Perspective 7, 390 (2005).

“Nordström, Ehrenfest and the Role of Dimensionality in Physics,” P. Halpern, Physics in Perspective 6, 390 (2004).


Edge of the Universe:  A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond.  New York: Wiley, 2012. 

Collider: The Search for the World’s Smallest Particles. New York: Wiley, 2009.

What’s Science Ever Done for Us? What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe. New York: Wiley, 2007.

Brave New Universe: Illuminating the Darkest Secrets of the Cosmos (with Paul Wesson). Washington, D.C: Joseph Henry Press, 2006.

The Great Beyond: Higher Dimensions, Parallel Universes and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of Everything. New York: Wiley, 2004.

Faraway Worlds: Planets Beyond Our Solar System. Watertown, Mass: Charlesbridge, 2004.

Professional Information

Dr. Halpern is the author of thirteen books on subjects ranging from the history of particle physics to the nature of time. Widely acclaimed popular science books, include Countdown to Apocalypse, The Quest for Alien Planets, The Cyclical Serpent, The Structure of the Universe, Cosmic Wormholes and Time Journeys. He has received accolades and praise from numerous publications, including Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Nature, Scientific American, Sky & Telescope and New Scientist. The Cyclical Serpent was chosen as one of the best Sci-Tech books of 1995 by Library Journal, and Cosmic Wormholes was chosen as a main selection of the Astronomy and Natural Science Book Club. He has appeared on many television and radio shows, including the PBS series "Future Quest" and the National Public Radio show "Radio Times."

Contact Information

Office location: McNeil Science and Technology Center Room 210
Mailing address: Box 30
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.8913

p [dot] halper [at] usciences [dot] edu