Professor Neil Turok
Neil Turok (PhD Imperial College London, 1983) was born to anti-apartheid activist parents who both later served as members of parliament in the New South Africa. Neil now holds the Higgs Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He also holds the Niels Bohr Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, where he is Director Emeritus.
One of the miracles of our existence is that we can understand the universe on scales vastly larger and vastly smaller than those of our everyday experience. The laws of physics have a remarkable economy and universality. They were discovered by asking simple, yet profound questions about nature: today’s versions include:
What happened at the big bang? What are dark matter and dark energy? How did time begin? What does the future hold?
Yet those same mathematical laws are astonishingly useful: they underlie every modern technology and opportunity for innovation.
Prof Turok will end by describing the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, an institution opening doors for talented African youth to enter advanced science and to become the innovators of the future.