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Fred Hoyle

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Fred Hoyle

Sir Fred Hoyle
Born (1915-06-24)24 June 1915
Gilstead, Bingley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died 20 August 2001(2001-08-20) (aged 86)
Bournemouth, England
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality British
Scientific career
Fields Astronomy
Institutions Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge
Alma mater Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Academic advisors Rudolf Peierls
Maurice Pryce
Philip Worsley Wood
Doctoral students John Moffat
Chandra Wickramasinghe
Cyril Domb
Jayant Narlikar
Leon Mestel
Peter Alan Sweet
Other notable students Paul C. W. Davies
Douglas Gough
Known for Coining the phrase 'Big Bang'
Stellar nucleosynthesis theory
Hoyle's fallacy
B2FH paper
Hoyle-Narlikar theory
Steady state theory
Triple-alpha process
Influenced Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Jayant Narlikar
Donald D. Clayton
Notable awards

Sir Fred Hoyle FRS (24 June 1915 – 20 August 2001)[1] was an English astronomer noted primarily for the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis and his often controversial stances on other scientific matters—in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory, a term coined by him on BBC radio. While Hoyle was well-regarded for his works on nucleosynthesis and science popularization, his career was also noted for the controversial positions he held on a wide range of scientific issues, often in direct opposition to the prevailing theories supported by the majority of the scientific community.[2][3][4]

In addition to his work as an astronomer, Hoyle was a writer of science fiction, including a number of books co-written with his son Geoffrey Hoyle. Hoyle spent most of his working life at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and served as its director for a number of years. He died in Bournemouth, England, after a series of strokes.


  • Early life and career 1
  • Origin of nucleosynthesis 2
  • Rejection of the Big Bang 3
  • Theory of gravity 4
  • Rejection of Earth-based abiogenesis 5
  • Other controversies 6
    • Nobel Physics Prizes 6.1
  • Media appearances 7
  • Honours 8
  • Bibliography 9
    • Non-fiction 9.1
    • Science fiction 9.2
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12

Early life and career

A plaque at Bingley Grammar School commemorating him

Hoyle was born near Bingley in Gilstead, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.[5] His father, Ben Hoyle, worked in the wool trade in Bradford. His mother, Mabel Pickard, had studied music at the Royal College of Music in London. Hoyle was educated at Bingley Grammar School and read mathematics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[6] In late 1940, Hoyle left Cambridge to go to Portsmouth to work for the Admiralty on radar research, for example devising a method to get the altitude of the incoming aeroplanes. He was also put in charge of countermeasures against the radar guided guns found on The Graf Spee.[7] Britain's radar project employed more personnel than the Manhattan project, and was probably the inspiration for the large British project in The Black Cloud. Two key colleagues in this war work were Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold, and the three had many and deep discussions on cosmology. The radar work paid for a couple of trips to North America, where he took full advantage to visit astronomers. On one trip he learned about supernovae at Caltech and Mt. Palomar and, in Canada, the nuclear physics of plutonium implosion and explosion, noticed some similarity between the two and started thinking about supernova nucleosynthesis. He had an intuition at the time "I will make a name for myself if this works out." Eventually (1954) his prescient and ground breaking paper came out. He also formed a group at Cambridge exploring Stellar nucleosynthesis in ordinary stars and was bothered by the paucity of stellar carbon production in existing models. He noticed that one of the existing processes would be made a billion times more productive if the carbon-12 nucleus had a resonance at 7.7 Mev, but the nuclear physicists did not list such a one. On another trip he visited the world class nuclear physics group at Caltech, spending a few months of sabbatical there and persuaded them against their considerable scepticism to look for and find the Hoyle state in carbon-12, from which developed a full theory of stellar nucleosynthesis, co-authored by Hoyle with some members of the Caltech group.[8]

After the war, in 1945, Hoyle returned to Cambridge University, starting as a lecturer at St John's College, Cambridge. Hoyle's Cambridge years, 1945–1973, saw him rise to the top of world astrophysics theory, on the basis of a startling originality of ideas covering a very wide range of topics. In 1958, Hoyle was appointed to the illustrious Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge University. In 1967, he became the founding director of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy (subsequently renamed the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, where Hoyle's innovative leadership quickly led to this institution becoming one of the premier groups in the world for theoretical astrophysics. In 1971 he was invited to deliver the MacMillan Memorial Lecture to the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. He chose the subject 'Astronomical Instruments and their Construction'. Hoyle was knighted in 1972. Hoyle resigned his Plumian professor position in 1972 and his directorship of the institute in 1973, with this move effectively cutting him off from most of his establishment power-base, connections, and steady salary.

After his leaving Cambridge, Hoyle wrote many popular science and science fiction books, as well as presenting lectures around the world. Part of the motivation for this was simply to provide a means of support. Hoyle was still a member of the joint policy committee (since 1967), during the planning stage for the 150-inch Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales. He became chairman of the Anglo-Australian Telescope board in 1973, and presided at its inauguration in 1974 by Charles, Prince of Wales. After his resignation from Cambridge, Hoyle moved to the Lake District and occupied his time with a mix of treks across the moors, writing books, visiting research centres around the world, and working on science ideas that have been nearly-universally rejected. On 24 November 1997, while hiking across moorlands in west Yorkshire, near his childhood home in Gilstead, Hoyle fell down into a steep ravine called Shipley Glen. Roughly twelve hours later, Hoyle was found by a search dog. He was hospitalized for two months with pneumonia, kidney problems as a result of hypothermia, and a smashed shoulder, while he ever afterwards suffered from memory and mental agility problems. In 2001, he suffered a series of strokes and died in Bournemouth on 20 August.

Origin of nucleosynthesis

Fred Hoyle authored the first two research papers ever published on the synthesis of the chemical elements heavier than helium by nuclear reactions in stars. The first of these [9] in 1946 showed that the cores of stars will evolve to temperatures of billions of degrees, much hotter than temperatures considered for thermonuclear origin of stellar power in main sequence stars. Hoyle showed that at such high temperatures the element iron can become much more abundant than other heavy elements owing to thermal equilibrium among nuclear particles, explaining the high natural abundance of iron. This idea would later be called the e Process.[10] Hoyle's second foundational nucleosynthesis publication[11] showed that the elements between carbon and iron cannot be synthesized by such equilibrium processes. Hoyle attributed those elements to specific nuclear fusion reactions between abundant constituents in concentric shells of evolved massive, pre-supernova stars. This startlingly modern picture is the accepted paradigm today for the B2FH. Ironically the B2FH paper did not review Hoyle's 1954 supernova-shells attribution of the origin of elements between silicon and iron despite Hoyle's co authorship of B2FH. Based on his many personal discussions with Hoyle [14] Donald D. Clayton has attributed this seemingly inexplicable oversight in B2FH to the lack of proofreading by Hoyle of the draft composed at Caltech in 1956 by G.R. Burbidge and E.M. Burbidge.[15]

The second of Hoyle's nucleosynthesis papers also introduced an interesting use of the anthropic principle, which was not then known by that name. In trying to work out the routes of stellar nucleosynthesis, Hoyle calculated that one particular nuclear reaction, the triple-alpha process, which generates carbon from helium, would require the carbon nucleus to have a very specific resonance energy and spin for it to work. The large amount of carbon in the universe, which makes it possible for carbon-based life-forms of any kind to exist, demonstrated to Hoyle that this nuclear reaction must work. Based on this notion, Hoyle therefore predicted the values of the energy, the nuclear spin and the parity of the compound state in the carbon nucleus formed by three alpha particles, which was later borne out by experiment.[16]

This energy level, while needed to produce carbon in large quantities, was statistically very unlikely to fall where it does in the scheme of carbon energy levels. Hoyle later wrote:

Would you not say to yourself, "Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."
— Fred Hoyle[17]

His co-worker William Alfred Fowler eventually won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 (with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar), but for some reason Hoyle’s original contribution was overlooked by the electors, and many were surprised that such a notable astronomer missed out.[18] Fowler himself in an autobiographical sketch affirmed Hoyle’s pioneering efforts:

The concept of nucleosynthesis in stars was first established by Hoyle in 1946. This provided a way to explain the existence of elements heavier than helium in the universe, basically by showing that critical elements such as carbon could be generated in stars and then incorporated in other stars and planets when that star "dies". The new stars formed now start off with these heavier elements and even heavier elements are formed from them. Hoyle theorized that other rarer elements could be explained by supernovas, the giant explosions which occasionally occur throughout the universe, whose temperatures and pressures would be required to create such elements.
— William Fowler[19]

Rejection of the Big Bang

While having no argument with the Lemaître theory (later confirmed by Edwin Hubble's observations) that the universe was expanding, Hoyle disagreed on its interpretation. He found the idea that the universe had a beginning to be pseudoscience, resembling arguments for a creator, "for it's an irrational process, and can't be described in scientific terms" (see Kalam cosmological argument).[20] Instead, Hoyle, along with Thomas Gold and Hermann Bondi (with whom he had worked on radar in World War II), in 1948 began to argue for the universe as being in a "steady state" and formulated their steady state theory. The theory tried to explain how the universe could be eternal and essentially unchanging while still having the galaxies we observe moving away from each other. The theory hinged on the creation of matter between galaxies over time, so that even though galaxies get further apart, new ones that develop between them fill the space they leave. The resulting universe is in a "steady state" in the same manner that a flowing river is—the individual water molecules are moving away but the overall river remains the same.

The theory was one alternative to the [21] Hoyle explicitly denied that he was being insulting and said it was just a striking image meant to emphasize the difference between the two theories for the radio audience.[22] In another BBC interview he said "The reason why scientists like the "big bang" is because they are overshadowed by the Book of Genesis. It is deep within the psyche of most scientists to believe in the first page of Genesis".[23]

Hoyle had a famously heated argument with Martin Ryle of the Cavendish Radio Astronomy Group about Hoyle's steady state theory, which somewhat restricted collaboration between the Cavendish group and the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy during the 1960s.[24]

Hoyle, unlike Gold and Bondi, offered an explanation for the appearance of new matter by postulating the existence of what he dubbed the "creation field", or just the "C-field", which had negative pressure in order to be consistent with the conservation of energy and drive the expansion of the universe. These features of the C-field anticipated the later development of cosmic inflation. They jointly argued that continuous creation was no more inexplicable than the appearance of the entire universe from nothing, although it had to be done on a regular basis. In the end, mounting observational evidence convinced most cosmologists that the steady state model was incorrect and that the Big Bang was the theory that agreed best with observations, although Hoyle continued to support and develop his theory. In 1993, in an attempt to explain some of the evidence against the steady state theory, he presented a modified version called "quasi-steady state cosmology" (QSS), but the theory is not widely accepted.

The evidence that resulted in the Big Bang's victory over the steady state model included the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in the 1960s, the distribution of "young galaxies" and quasars throughout the Universe in the 1980s, a more consistent age estimate of the universe and most recently the observations of the COBE satellite in the 1990s and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe launched in 2001, which showed unevenness in the microwave background in the early universe, which corresponds to currently observed distributions of galaxies. Hoyle died in 2001 never accepting the Big Bang theory.[25]

Theory of gravity

Together with Narlikar, Hoyle developed a particle theory in the 1960s, the Hoyle–Narlikar theory of gravity. It made predictions that were roughly the same as Einstein's general relativity, but it incorporated Mach's Principle, which Einstein had tried but failed to incorporate in his theory. Unfortunately the Hoyle-Narlikar theory failed several tests, including consistency with the microwave background. It was motivated by their belief in the steady state model of the universe.

Rejection of Earth-based abiogenesis

In his later years, Hoyle became a staunch critic of theories of [26]

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have advanced several instances where they say outbreaks of illnesses on Earth are of extraterrestrial origins, including the 1918 flu pandemic, and certain outbreaks of polio and mad cow disease. For the 1918 flu pandemic they hypothesized that cometary dust brought the virus to Earth simultaneously at multiple locations—a view almost universally dismissed by experts on this pandemic. Hoyle also hypothesized that AIDS came from outer space.[27]

In 1982 Hoyle presented Evolution from Space for the Royal Institution's Omni Lecture. After considering what he thought of as a very remote probability of Earth-based abiogenesis he concluded:

If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of...
— Fred Hoyle[28]

Published in his 1982/1984 books Evolution from Space (co-authored with Chandra Wickramasinghe), Hoyle calculated that the chance of obtaining the required set of enzymes for even the simplest living cell without panspermia was one in 1040,000. Since the number of atoms in the known universe is infinitesimally tiny by comparison (1080), he argued that Earth as life's place of origin could be ruled out. He claimed:

The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.

Though Hoyle had previously declared himself an atheist,[29] this apparent suggestion of a guiding hand led him to the conclusion that "a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and ... there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature."[30] He would go on to compare the random emergence of even the simplest cell without panspermia to the likelihood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein" and to compare the chance of obtaining even a single functioning protein by chance combination of amino acids to a solar system full of blind men solving Rubik's Cubes simultaneously.[31] Those who advocate the intelligent design (ID) belief sometimes cite Hoyle's work in this area to support the claim that the universe was fine tuned in order to allow intelligent life to be possible. Alfred Russel of the Uncommon Descent community has even gone so far as labeling Hoyle "an atheist for ID".[32]

Other controversies

While Hoyle was well-regarded for his works on nucleosynthesis and science popularization, his career was also noted for the controversial positions he held on a wide range of scientific issues, often in direct opposition to the prevailing theories supported by the majority of the scientific community.[2] Paul Davies describes how he "loved his maverick personality and contempt for orthodoxy", quoting Hoyle as saying "I don't care what they think" about his theories on discrepant redshift, and "it is better to be interesting and wrong than boring and right".[33]

Hoyle often expressed anger against the labyrinthine and petty politics at Cambridge and frequently feuded with members and institutions of all levels of the British astronomy community, leading to his resignation from Cambridge in September 1971 over the way he thought Donald Lynden-Bell was chosen to replace retiring professor Roderick Oliver Redman behind his back.[34] According to biographer Simon Mitton, Hoyle was crestfallen because he felt that his colleagues at Cambridge were unsupportive.[2]

In addition to his views on steady state theory and panspermia, Hoyle also supported the following controversial theories:

  • The correlation of flu epidemics with the sunspot cycle, with epidemics occurring at the minimum of the cycle. The idea was that flu contagion was scattered in the interstellar medium and reached Earth only when the solar wind had minimum power.
  • The fossil Archaeopteryx was a man-made fake.[35] This assertion was definitively refuted by, among other strong indications, the presence of microcracks extending through the fossil into the surrounding rock.
  • The theory of
  • The use of the fifty-six Aubrey holes at Stonehenge as a system for the neolithic Britons to predict eclipses, using them in the daily positioning of marker stones as proposed in his 1977 book On Stonehenge. The use of the Aubrey holes for predicting lunar eclipses was originally proposed by Gerald Hawkins whose book of the subject Stonehenge Decoded (1965) predates Hoyle's.

Nobel Physics Prizes

Hoyle was also at the center of two controversies involving the politics for selecting the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics. The first came when the 1974 prize went, in part, to Antony Hewish for his leading role in the discovery of pulsars. Promptly Hoyle made an off-the-cuff remark to a reporter in Montreal that "Yes, Jocelyn Bell was the actual discoverer, not Hewish, who was her supervisor, so she should have been included." This remark received widespread international coverage. Worried about being misunderstood and by British libel laws, Hoyle carefully[36] composed a letter of explanation to The Times.[18]

The second controversy came when the 1983 prize went in part to William Alfred Fowler "for his theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe." The controversy arose because Hoyle had been the inventor of the theory of nucleosynthesis in the stars with two research papers [37] published shortly after WWII. So some suspicion arose that Hoyle was denied the third share of this prize because of his earlier public disagreement with the 1974 award.[38] An alternative view is that the Nobel Prize is not just an award for a piece of work, but a recognition of a scientist's overall reputation. With Hoyle having loudly championed many disreputable and disproven ideas, the Nobel committee may have not wanted to award Hoyle the prize and validate Hoyle's ideas.[18][39] In the journal Nature, editor John Maddox called it "shameful" that Fowler had been rewarded a Nobel prize and Hoyle had not.[39]

Media appearances

Hoyle appeared in a series of radio talks on astronomy for the

External links

  • Alan P. Lightman and Roberta Brawer, Origins: The Lives and Worlds of Modern Cosmologists, Harvard University Press, 1990. A collection of interviews, mostly with the generation (or two) of cosmologists after Hoyle, but also including an interview with Hoyle himself. Several interviewees testify to Hoyle's influence in popularizing astronomy and cosmology.
  • Dennis Overbye, Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe, HarperCollins, 1991. ISBN 0-330-29585-3 Second edition (with new afterword), Back Bay, 1999. Gives a biographical account of modern cosmology in a novel-like fashion. Complementary to Origins.
  • Simon Mitton, Fred Hoyle: A Life in Science, Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-521-18947-7
  • Douglas Gough, editor, The Scientific Legacy of Fred Hoyle, Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-521-82448-6
  • Chandra Wickramasinghe, A Journey with Fred Hoyle, World Scientific Pub, 2005. ISBN 981-238-912-1.
  • Jane Gregory, Fred Hoyle's Universe, Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-850791-7
  • A Journey with Frey Hoyle: Second Edition by Chandra Wickramasinghe, World Scientific Publishing Co. 2013. ISBN 978-981-4436-12-0

Further reading

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ Ferguson, Kitty (1991). Stephen Hawking: Quest For A Theory of Everything. Franklin Watts. ISBN 0-553-29895-X.
  4. ^ Jane Gregory, Fred Hoyle's Universe , Oxford University Press, 2005 ISBN 0-191-57846-0
  5. ^
  6. ^ (Subscription required)
  7. ^ Simon Mitton, Fred Hoyle, a Life in Science, Cambridge University Press (2011).
  8. ^ Jane Gregory, Fred Hoyle's Universe, World Scientific Pub, 2003
  9. ^ "The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen" MNRAS 106, 343 (1946)
  10. ^ E. M. Burbidge, G. R. Burbidge, W. A. Fowler, and F. Hoyle (1957). "Synthesis of the Elements in Stars". Reviews of Modern Physics 29 (4): 547. Bibcode:1957RvMP...29..547B. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.29.547
  11. ^ "On nuclear reactions occurring in very hot stars: the synthesis of the elements from carbon to nickel" Astrophys. J. Suppl. 1, 121-146 (1954)
  12. ^ Donald D. Clayton "Hoyle's Equation", Science 318, 1876 (2007)
  13. ^ Donald D. Clayton "Fred Hoyle, primary nucleosynthesis and radioactivity", New Astronomy Reviews 52, 360-363 (2008)
  14. ^ "Fred Hoyle, primary nucleosynthesis and radioactivity[" New Astronomy Reviews 52, 360-363 (2008), p. 363, footnote 1
  15. ^ "Hoyle's Equation" Science 318, 1876 (2007)
  16. ^ Cook, Fowler, Lauritsen and Lauritsen, Phys. Rev. 107, 508 (1957)
  17. ^ Fred Hoyle, "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12
  18. ^ a b c Fred Hoyle: the scientist whose rudeness cost him a Nobel prize. 2 October 2010. The Guardian
  19. ^
  20. ^ Quentin Smith, A Big Bang Cosmological Argument For God's Nonexistence. Faith and Philosophy. April 1992 (Volume 9, No. 2, pp. 217–237
  21. ^ Mitton, Simon, Fred Hoyle a life in science", p. 129, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  22. ^ Croswell, Ken, The Alchemy of the Heavens, chapter 9, Anchor Books, 1995.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Mitton, Simon, Fred Hoyle a life in science", p. chapter 7, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ Creationism versus Darwinism. Published in Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (2003)
  27. ^
  28. ^ Hoyle, Fred, Evolution from Space, Omni Lecture, Royal Institution, London, 12 January 1982; Evolution from Space (1982) pp. 27–28 ISBN 0-89490-083-8; Evolution from Space: A Theory of Cosmic Creationism (1984) ISBN 0-671-49263-2
  29. ^
  30. ^ Hoyle, Fred (November 1981). "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections", Engineering and Science, Volume 45:2, pp. 8-12
  31. ^
  32. ^ Alfred Russel. Fred Hoyle - An Atheist for ID. Uncommon Descent. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Shipman, Pat, Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight, pp 141-145, Simon and Schuster, 1998.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen" MNRAS 106, 343 (1946); "The synthesis of the elements from carbon to nickel" Astrophys. J. Suppl. 1, 121-146 (1954)
  38. ^ Mitton, Simon, Fred Hoyle a life in science", p. 301-305, Cambridge University Press, 2011
  39. ^ a b
  40. ^ Mitton, Simon, Fred Hoyle a life in science, p. 125-138, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  41. ^ Gregory, Jane, Fred Hoyle's Universe, p. 48, Oxford University Press, 2005.
  42. ^ Jean-François Viot, Sur la route de Montalcino, 2008. Play: Atelier Jean Vilar, 2009.
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ Indian scientists discover three new species of bacteria. 17 March 2009. The Indian Express.
  46. ^
  47. ^


The Telegraph (UK) called him a "masterful" science fiction writer.[25]

Some stories of the anthology Element 79 are fantasy, in particular "Welcome to Slippage City" and "The Judgement of Aphrodite". Both introduce mythological characters.

Most of these are independent of each other. Andromeda Breakthrough is a sequel to A for Andromeda and Into Deepest Space is a sequel to Rockets in Ursa Major. The four Ladybird Books are intended for children.

Hoyle also wrote science fiction. In his first novel, The Black Cloud, most intelligent life in the universe takes the form of interstellar gas clouds; they are surprised to learn that intelligent life can also form on planets. He wrote a television series, A for Andromeda, which was also published as a novel. His play Rockets in Ursa Major had a professional production at the Mermaid Theatre in 1962.

A mosaic by Boris Anrep depicting Fred Hoyle as a steeplejack climbing to the stars, with a book under his arm

Science fiction

  • The Nature of the Universe - a series of broadcast lectures, Basil Blackwell, Oxford 1950 (early use of the big bang phrase)
  • Frontiers of Astronomy, Heinemann Education Books Limited, London, 1955. - The Internet Archive. HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-002760-6 ISBN 978-0060027605
  • Burbidge, E.M., Burbidge, G.R., Fowler, W.A. and Hoyle, F., Synthesis of the Elements in Stars, Revs. Mod. Physics 29:547–650, 1957, the famous B²FH paper after their initials, for which Hoyle is most famous among professional cosmologists.
  • Astronomy, A history of man's investigation of the universe, Crescent Books, Inc., London 1962 LC 62-14108
  • Galaxies, Nuclei, and Quasars, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1965 LC-65-20996
  • Nicolaus Copernicus, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., London, p. 78, 1973
  • Astronomy and Cosmology: A Modern Course, 1975, ISBN 0-7167-0351-3
  • Energy or Extinction? The case for nuclear energy, 1977, Heinemann Educational Books Limited, ISBN 0-435-54430-6. In this provocative book Hoyle establishes the dependence of Western civilization on energy consumption and predicts that nuclear fission as a source of energy is essential for its survival.
  • Ten Faces of the Universe, 1977, W. H. Freeman and Company (San Francisco), ISBN 0-7167-0384-X, ISBN 0-7167-0383-1
  • On Stonehenge, 1977, W. H. Freeman and Company (San Francisco), ISBN 0-7167-0364-5, ISBN 0-7167-0363-7 pbk.
  • Lifecloud - The Origin of Life in the Universe, Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe C., J. M. Dent and Sons, 1978. ISBN 0-460-04335-8
  • Commonsense in Nuclear Energy, Fred Hoyle and Geoffrey Hoyle, 1980, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., ISBN 0-435-54432-2
  • The big bang in astronomy, New Scientist 92(1280):527, 19 November 1981.
  • Ice, the Ultimate Human Catastrophe,1981, ISBN 0-8264-0064-7 [46] Snippet view from Google Books
  • The Intelligent Universe, 1983
  • From Grains to Bacteria, Hoyle, F. and Wickramasinghe N.C., University College Cardiff Press, ISBN 0-906449-64-2, 1984
  • Evolution from space (the Omni lecture) and other papers on the origin of life 1982, ISBN 0-89490-083-8
  • Evolution from Space: A Theory of Cosmic Creationism, 1984, ISBN 0-671-49263-2
  • Viruses from Space, 1986, ISBN 0906449936
  • With Jayant Narlikar and Chandra Wickramasinghe, The extragalactic universe: an alternative view, Nature 346:807–812, 30 August 1990.
  • The Origin of the Universe and the Origin of Religion,1993, ISBN 1-55921-083-4 [47]
  • Home Is Where the Wind Blows: Chapters from a Cosmologist's Life (autobiography) Oxford University Press 1994, ISBN 0-19-850060-2
  • Mathematics of Evolution, (1987) University College Cardiff Press, (1999) Acorn Enterprises LLC., ISBN 0-9669934-0-3
  • With G. Burbridge and Narlikar J. V. A Different Approach to Cosmology, Cambridge University Press 2000, ISBN 0-521-66223-0



  • Asteroid 8077 Hoyle
  • Janibacter hoylei, species of bacteria discovered by ISRO scientists[45]
  • Sir Fred Hoyle Way, a dual carriageway in Bingley.

Named after him


A statue of Fred Hoyle at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


[43].Take the World From Another Point of View Hoyle also appeared in the 1973 short film [42]

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