Archive for May, 2014

Meeting the king of the twistor

Graham spent last Thursday in Oxford with the great mathematician Roger Penrose, 82, inventor of the mathematical object known as the twistor. In a wide-ranging conversation, Penrose talked about his early life, his development as a scientist and his thoughts on the latest developments in fundamental physics.

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Roger Penrose

Roger Penrose, Oxford, May 2014

Art of Explaining

Graham was on stage in Berlin on Monday evening with Freeman Dyson, Canadian biographer Siobhan Roberts and Russian film-maker Ekaterina Eremenko to discuss ‘The Art of Explaining’. Chaired by the physicist Jochen Bruening, the panel talked about some of the ways of presenting science and mathematics to non-specialist audiences.

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The Art of Explaining

Panel at the Restaurant Alpenstueck after their discussion: (left to right) Jochen Bruening, Freeman Dyson, Ekaterina Eremenko, Siobhan Roberts and Graham.

The cleric who wanted Dirac kept out of Westminster Abbey

The struggle to have Dirac commemorated in Westminster Abbey lasted several years, as Graham describes in The Strangest Man. According to the late physicist Dick Dalitz, who led the group that campaigned for the commemoration, the main obstacle was the Dean of Westminster, who objected that Dirac had been a ‘militant atheist’. …

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Michael Mayne

Michael Mayne, Dean of Westminster Abbey (1986-1996)


Graham will be discussing The Art of Explaining with mathematical physicist Freeman Dyson, film-maker Ekaterina Eremenko and biographer Siobhan Roberts. More information: The Art of Explaining (PDF) If you do not have a PDF Reader installed on your computer you can get one here: Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader

Meeting a Master

Graham spent yesterday at the University of Utrecht talking with one of the grandmasters of modern theoretical physics, Gerard ‘t Hooft. In a wide-ranging interview for Graham’s next book, the Dutch scientist reflected on the development of quantum field theory since 1970 and on his thinking about current physics.

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t Hooft

‘Smashing Physics’ reviewed

In today’s edition of The Guardian, Graham reviews the new book by UCL Professor Jon Butterworth on life as a CERN experimentalist and the hunt for the Higgs boson.

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Book Cover