Juan Maldacena has been described as the first great theoretician of the twenty-first century. In a series of brilliantly imaginative insights, he has enriched our understanding of gravity, space-time and black holes. During this relaxed and informative interview with Graham, recorded last summer in Princeton, Maldacena describes how he became interested in modern physics, his astonishing discovery of an equivalence between a string theory and a quantum field theory. He also gives his views about the current state of our understanding of the universe and prospects for the future of theoretical physics.

This is one of twenty interviews given by world-class experts to Graham on the themes he explores in his new book The Universe Speaks in Numbers. A new interview is posted every week.

Among the other interviewees are Michael Atiyah, Ruth Britto, Simon Donaldson, Freeman Dyson, Michaela Massimi, Greg Moore, Roger Penrose, Martin Rees, Simon Schaffer, Lenny Susskind and Edward Witten.

Universe Speaks book cover
Published on 2 May in the U.K., 28 May in US and Canada