Check out Inside the Perimeter's Latest Edition


The latest edition of Inside the Perimeter contains news, science, and a special keepsake poster.

From the mysterious case of the shrinking proton to our latest science festival, from a sweet quantum love story to the sizzling science of steak, the latest edition of Inside the Perimeter, the Institute’s magazine, has something for everyone.

The issue also includes a special poster from Dr. Prateek Lala, whose scientific typographies caught the attention of The Huffington Post in August. The poster features unique artistic representations of more than 50 influential physicists, cosmologists, and mathematicians – from Anaximander right up to Stephen Hawking.

You can view all of Dr. Lala’s creations in the slideshow below, using the buttons beneath the images to peruse them at your own pace.

Click here to subscribe to Inside the Perimeter. If you would like to receive the magazine by mail, simply email us at magazine@perimeterinstitute.ca.

1 of 55

Anaximander (c. 610-546 BCE) is widely regarded as the world’s first physicist – the first to record his belief that nature followed fixed laws. He conducted the earliest recorded experiment, and introduced the sundial and other instruments.

Pythagoras (c. 570-495 BCE) discovered the Pythagorean Theorem: that a square laid along the long side of a triangle covers the same area as the two squares laid along the two shorter sides.

Euclid (c. 325-265 BCE) built up a complete description of space from a handful of axioms, such as “two parallel lines never cross.” He’s remembered as the “father of geometry,” and the particular kind of space he described, where parallel lines never cross, is now called “Euclidian space.”

Archimedes (c. 287-212 BCE) was an early scientist and engineer, maybe one of the most brilliant mathematicians of all time. He designed a number of innovative machines and discovered the principle of displacement: that the weight of an object floating in water is equal to the weight of the water it shoves aside.

Hypatia (c. 360-415) was the headmaster of the Platonist school at Alexandria, where she taught mathematics and astronomy. She invented the astrolabe and perhaps the hydrometer, and wrote several major books on geometry.

Aryabhatta (476-550) was a pioneer of mathematics and astronomy in India. He is believed to have devised the concept of zero and worked on the approximation of pi.

Abū Alī al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (965-1040) was a mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, sometimes known in Europe as simply “the physicist.” He invented the camera obscura and is the father of modern optics.

Leonardo Fibonacci (1170-1250) is the namesake of Fibonacci’s sequence, a series of integers closely connected with ideas such as the golden ratio and the golden spiral. The Fibonacci numbers are still used to describe everything from computer search techniques to uncurling ferns.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was the first person to turn a telescope on the moon, the planets, and the stars. His marriage of observation to mathematics and theory earned him the title “the father of modern science.”

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a mathematician and astronomer, best known for discovering three mathematical rules that describe the orbits of planets. The second law states that a line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time.

René Descartes (1596-1650) was a broad thinker who developed (among many other things) Cartesian (or analytic) geometry. If you’ve ever graphed equations on a plane with an x and y axis, you can thank Descartes.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a polymath who advanced geometry and probability theory, built the first calculating machines, and invented roulette. His experiments with fluids in open and sealed tubes proved that a vacuum was possible – an idea the scientific establishment had always dismissed.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is one of the most famous scientists who ever lived. He invented calculus (see Leibniz), formulated the laws of motion, and proposed the new idea of universal gravitation – he said it occurred to him when watching an apple fall from a tree.

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) invented calculus, though Isaac Newton independently developed calculus and is more widely credited as the field’s founder. They were contemporaries, and feuded over the matter. Leibniz’s last laugh: it’s his notation we use today.

Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) is best known for his work in fluid mechanics, in particular for his discovery that pressure decreases as flow speed increases – a fact that today keeps carburetors running and fixed-wing planes in the air.

Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), sometimes called “the Galileo of mathematical physics,” did ground-breaking work across many fields. He discovered Euler’s number, e, the second most important constant in physics, after pi.

Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) was a pioneer in theories of heat and vibration. The technique he invented for this work – representing complex waves by adding together simpler waves – is now used everywhere in science and engineering.

Thomas Young (1773-1829) pioneered the “double-slit” experiment: shining a light through two narrow slits, he produced a pattern akin to the one produced by two overlapping water waves. This demonstration of the wave nature of light later became central to quantum mechanics.

Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), called “the prince of mathematicians” by his contemporaries, is now best remembered for his “normal” (or Gaussian) distributions, which plot how likely things are to vary from average.

Georg Ohm (1789-1854), one of the first to experiment with the newly invented battery, discovered that the voltage applied across a conductor is directly proportional to the resulting current. Today, this is known as Ohm’s law.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) proposed the idea of electromagnetic fields extending through space – at the time a radical notion – after conducting research into the relationships between electricity and magnetism.

William Hamilton (1805-1865) reformulated Newtonian mechanics into what is now known as Hamiltonian mechanics. In doing so, he wrote the mathematical language in which modern physics, especially quantum theory, is expressed.

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) formulated the equations that describe electricity, magnetism, and optics as manifestations of the same phenomenon – the electromagnetic field. He’s also the namesake of Maxwell’s demon, a thought experiment in which a hypothetical demon violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Wilhelm Röntgen (1845-1932) was the first person to produce and detect X-rays. The first X-ray image in history was of his wife’s hand, with a heavy ring about her top knuckle. He was awarded the very first Nobel Prize in Physics.

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a physicist, electrical engineer, and possible mad scientist who designed the modern AC electrical supply system – and also investigated how to send electricity wirelessly through the air through the use of Tesla coils that produced giant lightning bolts.

Max Planck (1858-1947) is best remembered for his solution to the problem of black-body radiation: he showed that the theory fit the data if light could only come in packets of certain sizes – no half-packets allowed. It was the first step on the road to quantum mechanics. The size of those packets, or “quanta,” are now calculated using Planck’s constant.

William Henry Bragg (1862-1942) and William Lawrence Bragg (1890-1971) were the father-son team behind Bragg’s law, which describes how X-rays diffract inside crystals. This discovery launched the field of X-ray crystallography.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934) developed the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), learned to isolate radioactive isotopes, and discovered two new elements, radium and polonium. She also won two Nobel Prizes in science, the only person ever to do so.

Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) theorized that atoms have their charge concentrated in a very small nucleus. By bombarding atoms with high energy particles and mapping how some bounced back, he discovered (and named) the proton. He’s remembered as the “father of nuclear physics.”

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is synonymous with scientific genius, thanks largely to his general theory of relativity, one of the pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).

Otto Hahn (1879-1968) and Lise Meitner (1878-1968) added extra neutrons to atomic nuclei in an attempt to create heavier elements. When lighter elements began to turn up instead, Meitner realized they had split the atom.

Emmy Noether (1882-1935) is remembered for Noether’s theorem, which shows the precise mathematical relationship between symmetries in the laws of nature and conserved quantities. For example, the fact that the laws of nature don’t change with time (time symmetry) implies that energy doesn’t come from nowhere (energy conservation).

Niels Bohr (1885-1962) did foundational work in developing subatomic physics and quantum mechanics. His Bohr model of the atom was the first to place a large atomic nucleus at the centre and the small electrons in orbit.

Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) famously proposed a thought experiment, now known as Schrödinger’s Cat, to point out the apparent paradox of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics: if a particle can really be in two states at once, what of a cat whose fate depends on the particle’s state?

Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) was one of the most important observational astronomers of the 20th century. By measuring the red shift of distant objects, he showed that the universe was expanding. The Hubble Space Telescope is named for him.

Louis de Broglie (1892-1987) was the first to suggest that all matter has wave properties. This concept is known as wave-particle duality, or the de Broglie hypothesis, and became central to quantum mechanics. De Broglie won a Nobel Prize.

Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) is remembered for Bose-Einstein statistics – which explain, among other things, how lasers work. He is the namesake of the “boson,” a class of particles that obey these statistical laws.

Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) discovered the exclusion principle, or Pauli principle, which says that no two identical fermions can occupy the same quantum state at the same time. If there are two electrons in the same atomic shell, for instance, one must be spin up and the other down.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1979) was the first person to understand the chemical composition of stars. In particular, she concluded that hydrogen and helium are the most abundant elements in stars and, therefore, in the universe.

Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) is best known for his work leading to the development of Chicago Pile 1, the world’s first nuclear reactor. He used different materials to control the release of neutrons, creating the first self-sustaining artificial chain reaction.

Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) is best remembered for the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which says that there’s a fundamental limit to how much we can know about a subatomic particle.

Paul Dirac (1902-1984) wrote the first general theory of quantum mechanics and discovered the relativistic equation for the electron, which now bears his name. The remarkable notion of antimatter stems from this equation – which led Dirac to predict the existence of positively charged anti-electrons (positrons) years before they were found.

Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1906-1972) developed a mathematical model for the structure of nuclear shells, work which won her a Nobel Prize.

Kurt Gödel (1906-1978), a mathematician and logician, is remembered for his two incompleteness theorems, which say (among other things) that there will always be truths about numbers that no single mathematical system can prove.

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997), known as “the first lady of physics,” designed and conducted the Wu Experiment, which proved that parity is not a conserved quantity – that is, that the universe can tell its right hand from its left.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was a larger-than-life figure who made ground-breaking contributions to many branches of physics. He’s enshrined in physics via Feynman diagrams, a pictorial system for figuring out what happens when particles interact. Feynman painted them on his van.

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) was a biophysicist who used X-ray diffraction data to determine the structures of complex minerals and living tissues, including – famously – DNA.

Ralph Alpher (1921-2007), Hans Bethe (1906-2005), and George Gamow (1904-1968) are the supposed co-authors of a foundational paper on the big bang (though Bethe’s name was only added in jest in order to create an author list alluding to the Greek letters α, β, and γ: alpha, beta, gamma).

John Stewart Bell (1928-1990) proposed a statistical test, known as Bell’s inequality, for distinguishing between a quantum world (a world with true unknowable, indeterminate properties) and a classical world (a world where what looks like indeterminacy is just stuff that we don’t fully understand).

Vera Rubin (born 1928) realized, while studying galaxy rotation rates, that spiral galaxies were spinning faster than they should be, given the amount of visible matter in them. This discrepancy is one of the key pieces of evidence for dark matter.

Peter Higgs (born 1929) was one of several physicists to propose that elementary particles acquire mass by interacting with a new kind of field. After decades of search, the Large Hadron Collider finally found the Higgs boson in 2013, proving the existence of the Higgs field.

Roger Penrose (born 1931) is a mathematical physicist. His Penrose tilings are an entirely new way to tile – that is, to cover a surface with regular shapes – and the first tilings to exhibit five-fold rotational symmetry.

Stephen Hawking (born 1942) is the world’s most famous living physicist and has done wide-ranging work in cosmology. Hawking radiation – the radiation thought to be emitted by black holes – is named after him.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell (born 1943), as a postgraduate student, was key to the discovery of radio pulsars. Her work earned her graduate supervisor a Nobel Prize.

They made their mark. Who's next?

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent, non-profit, scientific research organization working to advance our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter, and information. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Perimeter also provides a wide array of research training and educational outreach activities to nurture scientific talent and share the importance of discovery and innovation among students, teachers, and the general public. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, Perimeter is a successful example of public-private collaboration in scientific research, training, and outreach. http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/

For more information, contact:

Manager, External Relations and Public Affairs
(519) 569-7600 x5051