Where does theoretical physics stand at the end of the second decade of the 21st century? Are we finally approaching the end of physics, when the rich tapestry of the universe will be revealed to us and we will finally understand the true nature of reality? If we are honest then we must admit that, while what we do know is dazzlingly impressive, there is much we have yet to grasp, from the nature of space and time to the meaning quantum mechanics. This whistle-stop tour of modern physics is an appraisal of what we know and what we have yet to figure out.
Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS is a quantum physicist, author and broadcaster and one of the best-known science communicators in Britain. He holds a Distinguished Chair in Physics at the University of Surrey where he teaches and conducts his research. He received a PhD in nuclear theory in 1989 and has since published over 100 research papers. He has written twelve books on popular science, between them translated into over twenty-six languages, as well as his first novel. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and the long-running Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Faraday medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal. His latest book, on which this talk is based, is The World According to Physics, published by Princeton University Press.