String Theory: The Perimeter Institute

Many of the prominent critics of string theory who are working on other approaches — Lee Smolin, John Moffat, Fotini Markopoulou, and others — call the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics home, so it’s easy to believe that the Perimeter Institute seeks out anti-string theorists.

In fact, their current director is Neil Turok, a cosmologist and co-creator of the ekpyrotic model, which is based on string theory principles. The Perimeter Institute achieved quite a coup by hiring Stephen Hawking as a Distinguished Research Chair, followed by a slew of other prominent physicists.

If you follow theoretical physics, it isn’t long until you hear about the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The Perimeter Institute was founded in 1999 by Mike Lazaridis, who was founder and co-CEO of Research in Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry handheld device.

Lazaridis decided to help foster research and innovation in Canada by starting the Perimeter Institute, which is devoted purely to theoretical physics research.

The Perimeter Institute’s goal is to foster innovation, and the physicists work in a number of areas: cosmology, particle physics, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum information theory, and superstring theory. It’s one of the only places where string theorists and leaders in other quantum gravity approaches regularly work together in one institute. More information can be found on the Perimeter Institute's website.

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