Live webcast to focus on how the financial system is shaped by physicists

In a live webcast February 1, James Weatherall will tell the story of how innovative physicists and mathematicians have shaped global finance since the Second World War.

January 30, 2017 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) – It’s no secret that twenty-first century finance is built on complex mathematical tools. These tools, developed be physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists, have been the basis for new trading strategies and new financial products. This has led to untold wealth and the introduction of market instability and risk.

In a Feb. 1 public lecture at Perimeter Institute, James Weatherall will tell the story of how innovative physicists and mathematicians saw surprising connections between physics, gambling, and finance, and put those connections to use following the Second World War, substantially changing the world’s financial system.

The talk, titled “The Physics of Wall Street,” is part of the Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series, supported by Presenting Sponsor BMO Financial Group. The lecture will be webcast live on the and via partner organizations on Wednesday Feb. 1 at 7 PM ET.

An author and researcher, Weatherall is the Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California, Irvine. His work primarily concerns the mathematical and conceptual foundations of physics. In addition to his academic work, Weatherall’s writing on physics, philosophy, and finance has appeared in Scientific American, The Financial Times, and Slate. He is the author of The Physics of Wall Street and, more recently, Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing.

Following his talk, Weatherall will answer questions from the online and in-house audience – including questions submitted prior to and during the talk via Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #piLIVE). Questions are welcomed from everyone – aspiring scientific explorers, school classes, physics and chemistry buffs, and general science enthusiasts.

View past PI Public Lectures and events, and find further details about PI’s research, training, and outreach activities at




About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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