Saturday, November 14, 2009

Michael Green: On the shoulders of Newton and Hawking

The physicist follows Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking into the Lucasian chair of mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
Congratulations. How did it feel when you heard the news?
I was very pleasantly surprised - but also overawed. This is a position that has had some extraordinary incumbents. It is loaded with a history that means I have an awful lot to live up to.
What plans do you have for the role?
For a long time I've been involved in the interface of elementary particle physics and general relativity, string theory in particular. Some very exciting things have been happening in string theory that I wish to pursue. Although string theory has not fulfilled or even come close to its original aims - to unify our ideas about the fundamental forces - it is now providing surprising insights in other areas of fundamental physics. These are problems that nobody has had any way of understanding and now we have a chance of solving.

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