Roger Penrose

Birth

Colchester, Essex, England. 8 August 193 - present.

Education

Penrose entered University College London which he was entitled to do without paying fees since his father was professor there. He was awarded a B.Sc. degree with First Class Honours in Mathematics and then decided to go to Cambridge to undertake research in pure mathematics. He was following in the footsteps of his older brother Oliver who had also taken his undergraduate degree at University College London and had gone to Cambridge to undertake research but Oliver had chosen physics. Roger, however, was set on research in mathematics and on entering St John's College he began research in algebraic geometry supervised by Hodge. However, after one year of study at Cambridge, finding that his interests were not particularly central to those of Hodge, he changed his supervisor to John Todd. Penrose was awarded his Ph.D. for his work in algebra and geometry from the University of Cambridge in 1957 but by this time he had already become interested in physics.

Contribution

  • Twistor theory
  • Geometry of spacetime
  • Cosmic censorship
  • Weyl curvature hypothesis
  • Penrose inequalities
  • Penrose interpretation of Quantum Theory
  • Orch-OR
  • Moore–Penrose pseudoinverse
  • Newman–Penrose formalism
  • Penrose tiling
  • Penrose stairs
  • Penrose graphical notation
  • Schrödinger–Newton equations

Important Theory

The idea of twistor theory is that space and time should be described in a completely new way using the geometry of twistor space. Then fundamental physics should be reformulated in this twistor geometry. The hope is that a complete and correct description of gravity and quantum mechanics can be given in this new framework.