Dr Graham Farmelo, by-fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge
Theoretical physics, BSc, PhD
Why did you first choose to study physics?
It has always seemed amazing to me that nature can be described by mathematical laws that we can discover. Inspired by the examples of great theoretical physicists Albert Einstein and Paul Dirac, I wanted to try my hand at discovering these laws. It turned out to be more difficult than they made it look, but immensely rewarding.
What does your current work entail?
I am currently writing a book at the relationship between pure mathematics and theoretical physics. On the side, I do a fair bit of lecturing, consulting and book-reviewing.
What did you do previously?
After my PhD, I went straight to a lectureship in physics at the Open University and then, 12 years later to the Science Museum in London. After 12 years there, I left to begin a new career in writing and consulting. Throughout, physics has been my passion.
What does being a fellow of the Institute of Physics mean to you?
All physicists do their work as part of a community, and it is privilege to be a fellow of the organisation that represents the UK’s community.
Do you have any other involvement with the Institute’s activities?
I enjoy the Institute’s lectures, social events and am delighted to be assisting the Institute’s staff in developing the organisation’s strategy for the future, based in its new building.