Oliver Penrose, in conversation with John Ball

Professor Oliver Penrose, FRS, FRSE is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics at Heriot-Watt University. In this interview with Sir John Ball (Heriot-Watt University), he talks about his long and distinguished career as a mathematical physicist, renowned for his research on statistical mechanics. The interview covers his upbringing in a remarkable intellectual family, his school and university education, and doctoral research in Cambridge on superfluidity, where he attended lectures by Dirac. Oliver Penrose describes his research with Lars Onsager at Yale, his longstanding collaboration with Joel Lebowitz, wartime work at English Electric, and the years he spent at Imperial, the Open University and Heriot-Watt. He talks too  about how he met his wife Joan, of chess and music, and of his latest work and philosophy.

(The interview took place on 5 January 2018 at Heriot-Watt University’s Media Studio. Filming and editing by Philip Booth.)