Latest Episode4/2/2020

The Universe Speaks in Numbers: Phil Anderson interviewed by Graham Farmelo

Season 1, Ep. 24

Phil Anderson was one of the most creative theoretical physicists of the past century. Among dozens of key contributions, he pioneered our understanding of symmetry breaking and paved the way to our modern understanding of weak and electromagnetic interactions, and the prediction of what became known as the Higgs boson. He did all this without state-of-the-art mathematics and was wary of mathematics-led approaches to our understanding of Nature. In this interview, recorded on 31 July 2014, he talks about his early career and his suspicions of string theory. He also tells me what topics he would advise bright young scientists to study.This is one of a series of interviews given by world-class experts to Graham on the themes he explores in his new book The Universe Speaks in Numbers.