Carlos Fiolhais was born in Lisbon in 1956. He graduated in Physics at the University of Coimbra in 1978 and got his PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1982. He is since 2000 Full Professor at the Department of Physics, University of Coimbra.
He is the author of ca. 160 scientific papers in international journals (one with more than 12,000 citations) and many educational and outreach articles. His more than 50 books include The Fun of Physics by Gradiva, Science in Portugal, by the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation; children’s books Playing Science, by Bizâncio; many school textbooks by Texto Editores; university textbook Fundamentals of Equilibrium Thermodynamics by Gulbenkian etc.
His research is focused in on Computational Condensed Matter Physics and History of Science. He was founder and director of the Center for Computational Physics, where he installed the largest national computer for scientific computing. He has coordinated several projects and supervised several M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. Being very active in science outreach, he created and leads the Rómulo – Ciência Viva Center of the University of Coimbra. He was director of the journal Gazeta Physics (Portuguese Physical Society) and was a member of committees of international journals (in 2011 he chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Physics Journal). He is since many years a regular contributor to the newspaper Público. He was Director of the General Library of the University of Coimbra, which includes the King’s John Libray. He is responsible for the area of Knowledge of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation. He directs the “Ciência Aberta” book collection of Gradiva.
He has won several awards: e.g. 2005 Golden Globe of Merit and Excellence in Science awarded by SIC and the Order of Henry the Navigator; and in 2006 the Rómulo de Carvalho Prize by the University of Évora.