I went to the same high school (Aarau) and university (ETHZ) as Einstein. Einstein then had to find a real job and revolutionized physics, while I did a Ph.D. in Geneva (with Ruth Durrer) and after three years in Oxford started to oscillate between Sussex and Geneva. Currently I’m in Geneva, still working hard on revolutionizing physics too.
What inspired you to study science?
I really wanted to become a magician (a true one, as in the fairy tales) but when I grew up, I found out to my disappointment that there is no real magic. The crazy concepts in theoretical physics come close, though.
Do you have a role model in science?
It’s rather a period: the discovery of quantum physics and the development of a theory to describe it.
A quote that inspires you?
“It is never safe to affirm that the future of physical science has no marvels in store which may be even more astonishing than those of the past; but it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have now been firmly established and that further advances are to be sought chiefly in the rigorous application of these principles to all the phenomena which come under our notice.”
— Albert A. Michelson, August 1894
Couldn’t that have been said in 1994 as well?
Cosmology, specifically the dark sector, inflation, topological defects and associated statistical, computational and observational challenges.
A list of all Martin’s papers can be found here.
Favourite reference papers:
The arXiv, of course.
Martin visited the group for a month in June 2011. Visit his personal website here.