Nobel prize-winner Sir Roger Penrose delivers talk at St John’s
The Penrose Lectures will address the interplay between mathematics and other disciplines which have been such a distinctive feature of Sir Roger’s research life
The inaugural Penrose Lecture was given by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Roger Penrose, alumnus and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College.
A sold-out audience of Fellows, students and staff gathered for the first talk in this new biennial lecture series, which was given by Sir Roger in the College’s Palmerston Room on 9 March 2022.
Sir Roger won one half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity. During his life he has also designed 'impossible objects' - or optical illusions - after exchanging ideas and materials with Dutch artist M.C. Escher. Among Sir Roger's work is a mathematical tiling system known as Penrose tiling, which shows what is known as fivefold symmetry. An example of the tiling decorates the floor at the entrance to the Library of St John's.
The inaugural lecture was entitled Visual Artistry for Mathematics and Science and the Penrose Lectures will continue to address the interplay between mathematics and other disciplines that have been such a distinctive feature of Sir Roger’s research life.
Sir Roger was awarded his PhD in algebraic geometry at St John's College in 1957 and stayed on as a Title A Fellow for a further three years. He is now Emeritus Professor at the Mathematical Institute (Wiles Building) at the University of Oxford as well as being an Honorary Fellow of St John's.