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Eleven dimensions of the Unifying Theory

Wednesday 14th January 2009 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00


Professor Michael Duff, Abdus Salam Chair of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College.

The unified theory brings together the fundamental forces of the universe in one single theory.

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An audience of 300 crammed into the main lecture theatre in the Sir Alexander Fleming Building at Imperial College on Wednesday night to hear Michael Duff explain how the fundamental particles and forces of the universe both at the very small quantum level and the universe of the very large - stars, galaxies and the driving force of gravity. It is one of the deepest mysteries of the Universe and he explained it to his non specialist audience with clarity and humour.

He introduced his contention that there are eleven dimensions not the four (three plus time) we are familiar with.

His interests lie in unified theories of the elementary particles, quantum gravity, supergravity, Kaluza-Klein theory, superstrings, supermembranes and M-theory.He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK) and Recipient of the 2004 Meeting Gold Medal, El Colegio Nacional, Mexico.

Michael Duff gained his PhD in theoretical physics in 1972 at Imperial College, London, under Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam. After postdoctoral fellowships in Trieste, Oxford, King's College (London), Queen Mary College (London) and Brandeis, he returned to Imperial College in 1979 on a Science Research Council Advanced Fellowship and joined the faculty there in 1980. He took leave of absence to visit the Theory Division in CERN, first in 1982 and then again as a Staff Member from 1984 to 1987 when he became Senior Physicist. He has also held Visiting Professorships and Fellowships at the University of Texas, Austin; the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Kyoto and the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge. He took up his professorship at Texas A&M in 1988 and was appointed Distinguished Professor in 1992.

In September 1999 he moved to the University of Michigan, where he was Oskar Klein Professor of Physics. In 2001, he was elected first Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics and was re-elected in 2004. He returned to Imperial College in 2005.

Venue: Sir Alexander Fleming Building