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Neil Turok Theoretical physicist

Neil Turok has worked in a number of areas of theoretical physics and cosmology, focusing on developing fundamental theories and new observational tests. In the 1990s, his group calculated how the polarization and temperature anisotropies of the cosmic background radiation would be correlated, a prediction confirmed in detail by recent measurements. The team also developed a key test for the presence of the cosmological constant, also recently confirmed. With Stephen Hawking, he developed the Hawking-Turok instanton solutions describing the birth of inflationary universes. Most recently, with Paul Steinhardt, he has developed a cyclic model for cosmology, according to which the big bang is explained as a collision between two “brane-worlds.” He is also the founder of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, based in Cape Town, which supports the development of mathematics and science across the African continent.


Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2014.

Director, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 2008.

TED Prize, 2008.

James Clerk Maxwell Medal, 1992.

Packard Fellowship, 1991.

Relevant Publications

I. Bars et al, "Dynamical String Tension in String Theory with Spacetime Weyl Invariance," Fortschritte der Physik, vol. 62, no. 11-12, 2014.

K. Smith et al, "Quantifying the BICEP2-Planck Tension over Gravitational Waves," Physical Review Letters, vol. 113, 031301, 2014.

N. Turok, "On quantum tunneling in real time," New Journal of Physics, vol. 16, 2014.

I. Bars et al, "Sailing through the big crunch-big bang transition," Phys. Rev. D, vol. 89, 061302, 2014.

M. Bucher et al, "An Open Universe from Inflation," Phys. Rev. D, vol. 52, pp. 3314, 1995.


N. Turok, The Universe Within, Toronto: Anansi, 2012.

P. Steinhardt and N. Turok, Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang, New York: Broadway Books, 2008.



Associate Fellow Gravity & the Extreme Universe


Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics


PhD Imperial College



Ideas Related to Neil Turok

Feature | Cosmology & Gravity

The story of the universe

Thirty years ago, when scientists first developed the cosmic theory of inflation, many thought it could not be more than...


The Universe Within

In October, Neil Turok (Perimeter Institute) travelled across Canada to present chapters from his book entitled ‘The Universe Within: From...