David Tong: Quantum Fields: The Real Building Blocks of the Universe

From The Physics of Nothing

David Tong, a Professor of Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, is one of my favorite physicists: he’s an exceptionally clear thinker and a riveting speaker, one of those rare scientists who manages to be both a great popularizer and a world-class scholar. He is almost as well known among physicists for his teaching as for his research, which has mostly been in string theory. In this video, he delivers a clear and engaging public lecture on one of the most difficult subjects in physics: quantum field theory. What makes the video truly special is that he does not talk about “fundamental particles” as if they were tiny billiard balls bouncing around the universe. Instead, he explains with great care how the real building blocks of nature are entities called “fields.” This is a difficult subject to wrap one’s head around, but this video is the best introduction available.

April 20, 2018

The Royal Institution

Curated by

James Owen Weatherall