Sir Roger Penrose is a highly distinguished mathematician and theoretical physicist, and currently emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. His research interests span many aspects of geometry, having made contributions to the theory of non-periodic tilings (“Penrose tilings”), to general relativity theory and quantum foundations. He has also had remarkable insights in the science of consciousness. His main research programme is to develop the theory of twistors, which he originated over 30 years ago as an attempt to unite Einstein's theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics. In 1994 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to science. Professor Penrose has received numerous prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their understanding of the universe, the Dannie Heinemann Prize, the Royal Society Royal Medal, the Dirac Medal and the Albert Einstein prize to name a few. His 1989 book The Emperor's New Mind  became a best seller and won the 1990 (now Rhone-Poulenc) Science Book Prize. His latest books are Shadows of the Mind  (1994), The Nature of Space and Time  (1996) with Stephen Hawking, The Large, the Small and the Human Mind  (1997) and Road to Reality  (2004).

Talks by Roger Penrose

On the Interplay Between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Roger Penrose University of Oxford

There has been much theorizing on the question of how the procedures of quantum theory might modify general relativity, perhaps leading to a resolution of the problem of the space-time singularities of gravitational collapse. However, I shall argue that these procedures cannot, alone, resolve the space-time singularity issue.

Twistors and Quantum Non-Locality

Roger Penrose University of Oxford
Space and time are two of the universe's most fundamental elements. Relativity combines these two into the unified notion of space-time, but twistor theory goes beyond this replacing both by something entirely different, where the basic elements are the paths taken by particles of light or other particles without mass.

Meet a Scientist - Sir Roger Penrose

Roger Penrose University of Oxford
Many aspects of geometry, black holes, novel views on the evolution of the universe (was there something before the Big Bang?), the interplay and unification of general relativity and quantum physics, and science of consciousness.

Before the Big Bang: Is There Evidence For Something And If So, What?

Roger Penrose University of Oxford
There is now a great deal of evidence confirming the existence of a very hot and dense early stage of the universe. Much of this data comes from a detailed study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - radiation from the early universe that was most recently measured by NASA\'s WMAP satellite. But the information presents new puzzles for scientists. One of the most blatant examples is an apparent paradox related to the second law of thermodynamics. Although some have argued that the hypothesis of inflationary cosmology solves some of the puzzles, profound issues remain.

Clocks at the Big Bang? Quantum gravity is not what you think!

Roger Penrose University of Oxford
It has been a common viewpoint that the process of quantization ought to replace the singularities of classical general relativity by some chaotic-looking structure at the scale of the Planck length. In this talk I shall argue that whereas this is to be expected at black-hole singularities, Nature\'s true picture of what goes on at the Big Bang is very different, where clocks cannot exist and the conformal geometry is completely smooth.