Sir Roger Penrose delivers President's Seminar
Sir Roger Penrose delivered the President's Seminar on the topic of ‘ fashion, faith and fantasy in the new physics of the universe’. He delivered a trenchant critique of the fashion for string theory, whose beautiful mathematics requires there to be many more than the three conventional dimensions of space and the further fourth dimension of time. He worried whether the mathematics – for all its elegance – really relates to what is physically there in the world and whether it can ever be testable. He then turned to the faith element in current interpretations of quantum mechanics to argue that for all its brilliance this is not the final answer but an incomplete theory ( as he proposed both Einstein and Schrödinger had supposed). His final section, fantasy, was self-consciously a play with alternative propositions including the notion that there have been many big bangs.