Discover Interview: Roger Penrose Says Physics Is Wrong, From String Theory to Quantum Mechanics

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Discover Interview: Roger Penrose Says Physics Is Wrong, From String Theory to Quantum Mechanics


One of the greatest thinkers in physics says the human brain—and the universe itself—must function according to some theory we haven’t yet discovered.

by Susan Kruglinski; photography by Oliver Chanarin

“Roger Penrose could easily be excused for having a big ego. A theorist whose name will be forever linked with such giants as Hawking and Einstein, Penrose has made fundamental contributions to physics, mathematics, and geometry. He reinterpreted general relativity to prove that black holes can form from dying stars.

He invented twistor theory—a novel way to look at the structure of space-time—and so led us to a deeper understanding of the nature of gravity. He discovered a remarkable family of geometric forms that came to be known as Penrose tiles. He even moonlighted as a brain researcher, coming up with a provocative theory that consciousness arises from quantum-mechanical processes. And he wrote a series of incredibly readable, best-selling science books to boot.”

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