François David is a mathematical physicist and a passionate educator with an infectious zest for decoding the mysteries of the universe. As a scientist based at the Institut de Physique Théorique (IPhT), he uses mathematical techniques and tools to tackle open questions in areas ranging from quantum gravity to statistical mechanics. He is also a popular lecturer among graduate physics students in his native France and at Perimeter Institute, where he has led classes in the Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) graduate program for over a decade. In this conversation, David discusses what it means to study simple complex models, ghosts that appear in quantum field theory, and how teaching young students from all over the world has energized his own passion for science.
Conversations at the Perimeter is co-hosted by Perimeter Teaching Faculty member Lauren Hayward and journalist-turned-science communicator Colin Hunter. In each episode, they chat with a guest scientist about their research, their motivations, the challenges they encounter, and the drive that keeps them searching for answers.
The podcast is produced by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, a not-for-profit, charitable organization supported by a unique public-private model, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada. Perimeter’s educational outreach initiatives, including Conversations at the Perimeter, are made possible in part by the support of donors like you. Be part of the equation: perimeterinstitute.ca/donate