“THE EXOPLANET REVOLUTION”
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This seminal discovery spawned a revolution in astronomy both in terms of new instrumentation and understanding of planet formation and evolution.
Through the following decades, Didier Queloz’s scientific contributions have led to enormous progress in detection and measurement capabilities of exoplanet systems with the goal of revealing information on their physical structure to better understand their formation and evolution by comparison with our solar system. More recently, he has been directing his efforts to the detection of Earth-like planets and Universal life. During the course of his career he has developed new astronomical equipment, new observational approaches and detection algorithms. He has been involved in and has conducted programs leading to the detection of hundreds of planets, include several breakthrough results.
Prof Queloz is an active populariser of science in general, and astrophysics in particular through numerous science documentaries, popular articles, TV and radio interviews, sharing the excitement of science with the wider public.
Since 2013, he has been professor at Cambridge University where he is leading a comprehensive research program with the goal of making further progress in our understanding of the formation, structure, and habitability of exoplanets in the Universe as well as to promote and share the excitement of this work with the public.
The wealth and diversity of planetary systems that have now been detected, have modified our perspective on planet formation as a whole and more specifically our place in the Universe. It also presents an opportunity for historical perspectives and an irresistible call to look for signs of life on these new worlds as a way to explore our own origins. I will introduce the audience with the challenges and recent progresses in this new field of research and will touch upon the emergence of a new paradigm for the origins of life on Earth.
Professor DAVID OLIVE, CBE, FRS , FLSW (1937 - 2012) was one of the founding members of the Swansea Particle Physics Theory group in 1992, prior to which he held academic positions at Imperial College, CERN and Cambridge. His seminal contributions shaped the development of quantum field theory and string theory. His scientific career began with important work in S-matrix theory culminating with him co-authoring the definitive text on the subject titled "The Analytic S-matrix” together with Eden, Landshoff and Polkinghorne. His work on the spinning string leading to the GSO (Gliozzi-Scherk-Olive) projection played the central role in the realisation of spacetime supersymmetry in string theory.
Professor Olive, together with Peter Goddard and Adrian Kent pioneered the coset construction, one of the most important results in two dimensional conformal quantum field theories, which eventually led to ways of incorporating spacetime gauge symmetry in string theory. The deep insights on properties of monopoles due to Goddard, Nuyts and Olive, and the bold proposal of Olive and Montonen on electric-magnetic duality in non-abelian gauge theories had arguably the most far-reaching impact on the development of dualities in quantum field theories and propelled the duality revolution in string and M-theory.
For these pioneering and far-sighted contributions David was awarded the Dirac Medal of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in 1997.
An annual series of lectures in memory of David and his work was established in 2019 under the auspices of / in collaboration with the Learned Society of Wales. David was a Founding Fellow of the Society, having been elected in 2010.
The inaugural David Olive Lecture was delivered by Prof Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.Past Lectures