Founding member and research physicist, Perimeter Institute For Theoretical Physics

Lee SmolinLee Smolin is a founding member and research physicist at the Perimeter Institute For Theoretical Physics. Professor Smolin received his PhD in theoretical physics in 1979 from Harvard University, and held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The Institute for Theoretical Physics (now Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics) in Santa Barbara and the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. He has held faculty positions at Yale, Syracuse and Penn State universities, where he helped to found the Center for Gravitational Physics and Geometry.

He also held visiting positions at Cambridge and Oxford universities and at International School for Advanced Studies [SISSA] and the universities of Rome and Trento in Italy. He was a visiting  professor at Imperial College London from 1999 to 2001.

Professor Smolin has made major contributions to the field of quantum gravity, which seeks to unify Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum theory. With Abhay Ashtekar and Carlo Rovelli, he was a founder of the approach known as loop quantum gravity, but he has contributed to other approaches including string theory and causal dynamical triangulations.

He is also known for proposing the notion of the landscape of theories, based on his application of Darwinian methods to cosmology. He has  contributed also to the foundations of quantum mechanics, elementary particle physics and theoretical biology. He also has a strong interest in philosophy and his three books, Life of the Cosmos, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity and The Trouble with Physics are in part philosophical explorations of issues raised by contemporary physics.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo