Lee Smolin

Lee Smolin
Lee Smolin
Physicist, Perimeter Institute; Author, Einstein's Unfinished Revolution

LEE SMOLIN is a theoretical physicist who has been, since 2001, a founding and senior faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is also adjunct professor of physics at the University of Waterloo and a member of the graduate faculty of the philosophy department at the University of Toronto. His main contributions have been so far to the quantum theory of gravity, to which he has been a co-inventor and major contributor to two major directions, loop quantum gravity and deformed special relativity. He also contributes to cosmology, through his proposal of cosmological natural selection: a falsifiable mechanism to explain the choice of the laws of physics. He has also contributed to quantum field theory, the foundations of quantum mechanics, theoretical biology, the philosophy of science and economics. He is the author of more than 150 scientific papers and numerous essays and writings for the public on science.

Born in New York City, Smolin attended Hampshire College and Harvard University. After postdocs at IAS Princeton, ITP Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago, he held faculty positions at Yale, Syracuse, and Penn State University. A Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Canada, he was awarded the 2009 Klopsteg Memorial Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers. In 2015, he was awarded, with Marina Cortes, the Inaugural Buchalter Cosmology Prize.

He is the author of The Life of the Cosmos (1997), Three Roads to Quantum Gravity (2001), The Trouble with Physics (2006), Time Reborn (2013), and Einstein's Unfinished Revolution (2019).

"It is very good that Stu Kauffman and Lee are making this serious attempt to save a notion of time, since I think the issue of timelessness is central to the unification of general relativity with quantum mechanics. The notion of time capsules is still certainly only a conjecture. However, as Lee admits, it has proven very hard to show that the idea is definitely wrong. Moreover, the history of physics has shown that it is often worth taking disconcerting ideas seriously, and I think timelessness is such a one. At the moment, I do not find Lee and Stu's arguments for time threaten my position too strongly."

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