Neil Geoffrey Turok (born 16 November 1958) is a South African physicist, and the Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His work has been in the area of mathematical physics and early universe physics, including the cosmological constant and a cyclic model for the universe. Recent evidence for gravitational waves from the Big Bang appeared to provide evidence against this model, though the claim that the BICEP2 experiment has detected gravitational waves has since been thrown into considerable doubt.
Turok was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Mary (Butcher) and Latvian-born Ben Turok, who were activists in the anti-apartheid movement and the African National Congress. After graduating from Churchill College, Cambridge, Turok gained his doctorate from Imperial College, London, under the supervision of Professor David Olive, one of the inventors of superstring theory. After a postdoctoral post at Santa Barbara, he was an associate scientist at Fermilab, Chicago. In 1992 he was awarded the Maxwell medal of the Institute of Physics for his contributions to theoretical physics. In 1994 he was appointed Professor of Physics at Princeton University, then held the Chair of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge starting in 1997. He was appointed Director of the Perimeter Institute in 2008...
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