Neil Turok: Physicist, Education Activist| 26mins
Director: TED | Producer: TED
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, physicist Neil Turok speaks out for talented young Africans starved of opportunity: by unlocking and nurturing the continent's creative potential, we can create a change in Africa's future. Neil Turok works on understanding the universeâ€™s very beginnings. With Stephen Hawking, he developed the Hawking-Turok instanton solutions, describing the birth of an inflationary universe - positing that, big bang or no, the universe came from something, not from utter nothingness. Recently, with Paul Steinhardt at Princeton, Turok has been working on a cyclic model for the universe in which the big bang is explained as a collision between two â€œbrane-worlds.â€ The two physicists recently cowrote the popular-science book Endless Universe. In 2003, Turok, who was born in South Africa, founded the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Muizenberg, a postgraduate center supporting math and science. His TED Prize wish: Help him grow AIMS and promote the study and math and science in Africa, so that the world's next Einstein may be African. Later on in 2008, Turok was named the Executive Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Ontario, Canada. "To me this seems like one of the most fundamental questions in science, because everything we know of emerged from the Big Bang. Whether it's particles or planets or stars or, ultimately, even life itself." Neil Turok, interviewed on Edge.com.