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George Ellis

George Ellis is professor emeritus of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town.

The mathematical universe

George Ellis, 26 January 2006

Roger Penrose is one of the most creative and original mathematical physicists in Britain. This remarkable book is the result of many decades of reflection on our scientific understanding of the physical universe. We have discovered some major things about the nature of reality over the past three hundred years. First, everything in the world around us, including ourselves, is made up of...

Good Vibrations

George Ellis, 30 March 2000

The great ambition of scientists is to grasp the far from obvious nature of the physical world at ever more fundamental levels, and in doing so, to unify our understanding of phenomena that had previously appeared to be disparate. We have been enormously successful in this, demonstrating that complex objects are made from simpler components, and they in turn are made of even simpler ones. Everything around us, ourselves included, is composed of molecules, which are composed of atoms – carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and so on – which are composed of negatively charged electrons, and a nucleus of positively charged protons and uncharged neutrons, which are composed of quarks. Thus underlying the immense complexity of life is a simplicity of microscopic composition.

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