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Renowned scientist Stephen Wolfram will present his recent work on his Project to Find the Fundamental Theory of Physics as the first keynote speaker in our new Science beyond the Horizon series.

Event details of Science beyond the Horizon: Stephen Wolfram on a Fundamental Theory of Physics (online)
Date 10 November 2020
Time 20:00 -21:30
Finally We May Have a Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics... and It’s Beautiful Stephen Wolfram

About the project

In many ways it’s the ultimate question in natural science: How does our universe work? Is there a fundamental theory? An incredible amount has been figured out about physics over the past few hundred years. But even with everything that’s been done—and it’s very impressive—we still, after all this time, don’t have a truly fundamental theory of physics.

The Wolfram Physics Project is a bold effort to find the fundamental theory of physics. It combines new ideas with the latest research in physics, mathematics and computation in the push to achieve this ultimate goal of science.

About the speaker

Stephen Wolfram was educated at Eton, Oxford, and Caltech, receiving his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1979 at the age of 20. His early work in physics and computer science was recognized by a MacArthur award in 1981. In the early 1980s he made a series of now-classic discoveries about systems known as cellular automata, leading to numerous applications in physics, mathematics, computer science, biology, and other fields. In 1986 he founded Wolfram Research, Inc. and began the creation of Mathematica---now the world's leading software system for technical computing and symbolic programming. Over the past decade Wolfram has divided his time between leadership of his company and pursuit of basic science. The results of Wolfram's fifteen years of work were presented for the first time in his book, A New Kind of Science (May 2002). An instant bestseller, A New Kind of Science constituted international science news and quickly emerged as one of the most-discussed science books in decades.


20:00-20:02 Word of welcome by IAS Scientific Director Peter Sloot
20:02-20:10 Introducing the speaker and the topic by Sander Bais
20:10-21:00 Keynote lecture by Stephen Wolfram
21:00-21:30 Panel discussion


  • Jan de Boer, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam
  • Klaas Landsman, Professor of Mathematical Physics, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Sonja Smets, Professor of Logic and Epistemology, University of Amsterdam
  • Max Welling, Professor of Machine Learning, University of Amsterdam


  • Sander Bais, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam