Neil Turok in 2008
|Born||Neil Geoffrey Turok
November 16, 1958
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Residence||Waterloo, Ontario, Canada|
|Institutions||University of Cambridge
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
|Alma mater||Churchill College, Cambridge
Imperial College London
|Thesis||Strings and solitons in gauge theories (1983)|
|Doctoral advisor||David Olive|
|Known for||Hawkingâ€“Turok instanton solutions
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
|Notable awards||Maxwell Medal and Prize (1992)|
My goal is to get people thinking and trying to wrap their heads around the amazing things that have been achieved and to dream about what will be achieved.
If the universe sprung into existence and then expanded exponentially, you get gravitational waves traveling through space-time. These would fill the universe, a pattern of echoes of the inflation itself.
My experience in science has always been that the future always exceeds what we believe is possible. I suspect that we will explore the universe.
Quantum physics forms the foundation of chemistry, explaining how molecules are held together. It describes how real solids and materials behave and how electricity is conducted through them… It enabled the development of transistors, integrated circuits, lasers, LEDs, digital cameras and all the modern gadgetry that surrounds us.
If you think about the actual problems we are facing – all the crises – we have the means to solve these crises. The past has shown us we are able to do things we never imagined we would be able to do.
Scientists cloister themselves away from the rest of society, happy just to receive their next grant. They lose their connection to a purpose.
Quantum physics is one of the hardest things to understand intuitively, because essentially the whole point is that our classical picture is wrong.
It may be that we live in an endless universe, both in space and in time. And there've been Bangs in the past, and there will be Bangs in the future.
Some day we'll move into space and start ensuring the survival of our species beyond Earth, whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand.
My main interest is the problem of the singularity. If we can't understand what happened at the singularity we came out of, then we don't seem to have any understanding of the laws of particle physics. I'd be very happy just to understand the last singularity and leave the other ones to future generations.
The only people who can fix Africa are talented young Africans. By unlocking and nurturing their creative potential, we can create a step change in Africa's future.
The world is not made up of particles and waves and beams of light with a definite existence. Instead, the world works in a much more exploratory way. It is aware of all the possibilities at once and trying them out all the time. That is a hard thing to picture.
I'd be perfectly happy with a mathematically precise description of how time began. I see science and religion as being two completely different things. I don't see science as relevant to the question of whether or not there's a God.